Omar advocates Assembly elections along with Parliamentary polls in J&K

Former MLC Surinder Choudhary Joins NC

Jammu, Jul 11: Ending three year long association with BJP, former MLC Surinder Choudhary joined the National Conference in presence of ex-CM Omar Abdullah. Choudhary, a prominent face in Nowhera who enjoys support among both Muslims and Hindus had quit Peoples Democratic Party on March 30 last year and crossed over to the BJP within a week. He was joined in presence of party’s national general secretary Tarun Chug and J&K BJP chief Ravinder Raina.

Earlier in the day, Choudhary announced his decision to quit the BJP through a tweet while accusing the Jammu and Kashmir BJP chief of encouraging familism and corruption. Choudhary had lost to Raina in the Nowshera Assembly constituency of Rajouri district in the 2014 assembly polls.

Welcoming Choudhary and his supporters to the National Conference, the party’s vice president and former chief minister Omar Abdullah accused the BJP of using state machinery to browbeat those who want to leave the party and join the NC.

Meanwhile, National Conference leader Omar on Tuesday advocated for holding the assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir with the parliamentary polls next year, saying the people need an opportunity to choose their elected government rather than being ruled through the Raj Bhavan.

He also defended “parivarvaad” in politics and also questioned the remarks of Home Minister Amit Shah that three families — National Conference, PDP and Congress — are responsible for terrorism-related deaths in the Union Territory.

“I have no grudge against Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) who is a big man and also elder to me. I do not have any objection (for his remarks against me). However, I want to tell him that he should announce assembly elections and we will see whom the people will vote for,” Abdullah said.

“They think one of us is going to win and so they are not holding the polls because they know there is a lot of difference between what they are saying and what they are doing.” He said he is confident that if assembly elections are held today, the BJP is not “going to cross 10 seats, leave aside their claim of 50 plus seats”. On BJP’s remarks that the party is ready for the polls but the decision is to be taken by the Election Commission, Abdullah said the election commissioner has time and again made it clear that they need a signal from the Centre that the situation is conducive for holding the polls in J-K.

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