NC will emerge as largest party in elections: Farooq

National Conference president and Srinagar member of Parliament Farooq Abdullah on Tuesday said that his party will emerge as the single largest party if elections are held in J&K, while regretting the decision to not take part in the 2018 panchayat polls
National Conference president Farooq Abdullah. (HT File)
National Conference president Farooq Abdullah. (HT File)
Updated on Aug 31, 2021 10:51 PM IST
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By HT Correspondent, Srinagar

National Conference president and Srinagar member of Parliament Farooq Abdullah on Tuesday said that his party will emerge as the single largest party if elections are held in J&K, while regretting the decision to not take part in the 2018 panchayat polls.

“I am telling you with certainty that if transparent elections are held, the NC will emerge as the largest party,” he said. He was addressing reporters on the sidelines of a function at Sher-i-Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC).

Farooq also said that government officials will be made accountable once there is a people’s government in the erstwhile state and asked J&K Lt Governor Manoj Sinha to make them answerable to the people. Farooq lambasted the government officials, saying they don’t take phone calls of the people and political leaders.

“They (bureaucrats) will be made accountable for what they have done. Today they consider themselves kings which they are not. They are meant to work for the people of the J&K and are servants of the people,” he said.

Earlier speaking at a function on the parliamentary outreach programme for strengthening Parliamentary Raj Institutions (PRIs) that was also attended by Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla, Farooq said NC shouldn’t have boycotted the panchayat polls in 2018. “Our party should have taken part in the panchayat and block development council elections. We regret that,” he said.

Soon after the governor rule was imposed in J&K in 2018, National Conference and the PDP boycotted panchayat polls. After the abrogation of Article 370, they again stayed away from the block development council polls. However, last year, the NC as well the PDP participated in district development council elections as part of the PAGD in which the candidates of PAGD won more than 100 seats.

Farooq said militancy hasn’t gone away from Kashmir and demanded adequate security for the panchayat members. “Militancy still exists in Kashmir. Many BJP workers were killed, Apni Party leader was also killed recently. The panchayat members, BDC members can only work in the field if they are given proper security,” he said.

He said the political leaders who stand for the country are being targeted by the militants and it’s the responsibility of Union government to protect them.

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Saturday, October 23, 2021