Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah on Friday declared himself the chief ministerial candidate of his National Conference in the assembly elections in the state.
"I'm hopeful that the next government will be headed by me," Omar told media on the sidelines of the Independence Day function here.
Asked about the opposition criticism that he was emptying the state coffers on populist measures as a last ditch effort ahead of assembly elections, Omar said "Don't think that I'm emptying the treasury for the next person. As far as I'm concerned, I'm fighting these elections to win them and not to lose them," he said.
Former chairman Jammu and Kashmir Bank Haseeb Drabu, who is contesting the forthcoming elections on a PDP ticket, has criticised the state government's fiscal policy through his write-ups in local newspapers.
"Government will be decided by the people and not by those writing columns in newspapers. We will see the acumen of the people when they take oath and become finance minister, if it comes to that. We have seen their work when they were in position of power," Omar said.
Addressing the people on Independence Day, the chief minister appealed to the people of the Valley to make use of their power to vote as it helps in development while stating that 'boycott politics' of separatists who has not achieved anything.
"I'm not going to tell you who you should vote for but please make use of your right to vote as it helps in development process, it is because of the votes in 2008 that we have been able to achieve so much in the past five and half years," he said.
The CM announced two sops for the people of the state on the occasion of Independence Day, reduction in electricity duty from 22% to 10% and 5% reservation for Pahari speaking people.
"There were many complaints about billing. The electricity rates are fixed by SERC. We have the authority of reducing the duty which is 22%. I want to give a gift to the people of the state and reduce the duty to 10%," Omar said.