Omar Abdullah seeks safe, conducive elections for J-K by-polls

Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], Mar. 14 : Asserting that the security of its leaders are not in safe hands, National Conference (NC) working president Omar Abdullah on Tuesday asked the Election Commission (EC) to ensure a safe and conducive atmosphere for by-polls to two Lok Sabha seats in Kashmir.

"As far as the current situation is concerned, we see that the security of our party leaders is being scaled down rather than being increased.

Questions over security to sarpanches had been raised but I am telling you that the security of my former legislators and former ministers is being withdrawn," said Abdullah.

Abdullah further stated that when former ministers wish to visit their areas, they get security only after repeated requests.

"The EC expects us to fight elections. It should ensure that the atmosphere is conducive for elections, and those who want to take part in the elections as candidates or campaigners should get full security," said Abdullah.

Referring to Army Chief General Bipin Rawat's remarks, Omar said that he had said that such people be treated as anti-nationals.

"He had perhaps hoped that people after listening to this will prefer to sit in their houses. But even after his threat, perhaps people in large numbers (than earlier) came out of their houses. This issue won t get resolved by issuing threats," he added. The National Conference working president said the PDP-BJP government should try to understand the sentiments of the people.

He also hit out at the Centre as well as the state government over the closure of the Srinagar-Jammu national highway for the past week.

"This is very disappointing, we know no one has control over weather, but after (bad) weather the highway can indeed be cleared.

Also one side it's about the four-laning of the highway, and we got to know that Prime Minister is coming to inaugurate the (Chennani-Nashri) tunnel, but from past five to six days the people are not able to travel on the highway and passengers are stranded," he added.

The Srinagar parliamentary constituency will go to polls on April 9 and polling in Anantnag will be held on April 12.

Source: ANI