Advani Asked Me To Retract Demand For Autonomy: Abdullah
21 April 2006
Srinagar: Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and patron of opposition National Conference Farooq Abdullah today claimed that he was asked by the then Union Home Minister L K Advani to retract his demand for restoration of autonomy to the state. 'During the NDA rule (at the Centre), Home Minister Advani asked me to step down from the demand for restoration of autonomy to the state but I outrightly refused,' a party release quoted Abdullah as saying at an election rally in Pattan assembly segment in Baramulla district which is going to bypolls on April 24. Abdullah said Advani's request 'for stepping down from historic demand of the party' came during a trip to Ladakh region of the state. Claiming that 'conspiracies' were beintg hatched against his party, the former Chief Minister said the passing of a resolution for restoration of autonomy by the state legislature in July 2000 'led to projection of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed into the state politics'. Soon after the autonomy resolution was passed, Mufti was brought to the forefront and the foundation of another conspiracy was laid, he said. Abdullah urged the electorate of Pattan to cast their votes in favour of National Conference candidate so that 'the collective and individual interests of the people are strengthened.