Farooq Not Contesting Polls

20 July 2014
Kashmir Times

Srinagar: National Conference (NC) president Dr Farooq Abdullah will not contest the coming assembly elections. This was revealed by chief minister Omar Abdullah to a local news agency, KNS. 'Doctor sahib (Farooq Abdullah) will not contest the assembly polls as his health does not allow him to fight elections,' he said. The NC president lost the recent Lok Sabha polls from Srinagar-Budgam constituency. He was defeated by PDP leader Tariq Hamid Qarra. His defeat was a big setback for NC. Dr Abdullah was the chief ministerial candidate of NC in 2008 assembly polls. However, after the elections he paved way for Omar to become the chief minister of NC-Congress coalition government. Omar, during his conversation with the news agency today, expressed displeasure over the 'unusual hype given to the issue with the state Congress leaders saying no to pre-poll. 'My party leaders did not go to press and issued detailed statements over it. Congress did. Let them fight alone and we will fight alone,' he added. When asked whether the coalition government would continue to function due to latest political development, chief minister maintained that the decision will have no affect on the functioning of the government and that the government will continue to run till the elections in the state are announced. 'We have to understand that this coalition came into existence after the elections. There will be no impact on the government functioning and the coalition will continue to function till the assembly elections are announced in the state. Besides preparing for the coming elections, we will continue to run the state of affairs in Jammu and Kashmir. Later we will present services before the people of Jammu and Kashmir,' Omar added. He claimed that NC from the day one was not willing to contest assembly elections jointly with the state Congress. Omar stated that if NC had any intension of entering into the pre-poll pact with Congress, it would not have issued the list of the candidates in the recent past. 'We issued the 1st list of the candidates prior to the announcement of Congress over not forging alliance with NC. We even nominated the candidates for the Jammu region. The fact is that I already had informed Congress that keeping the experience of parliament elections in view, NC is not going to join hands with it for the assembly polls.' Chief minister stated that during the recently held parliamentary polls in Jammu and Kashmir, National Conference transferred the votes in favour of Congress in Jammu region but its opposite was witnessed in valley. 'It is quite obvious; NC did not get the Congress votes in valley. If votes would have been transferred, the situation today would have been different,' he added. Omar, however, refused to comment over the reports that the former chief minister and a senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad met the PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. 'I cannot comment anything over the issue,' he said. He added that if alliance ahead of polls was forged with the Congress, the same would have caused much damage to NC. 'If the things of the past would have been repeated in the assembly elections, the same could have caused damage. Now both the parties will contest the elections separately. Let us see who performs better. Good thing about the decision is that we would not witness further damage.' When asked about the reports that his party remains indecisive over the constituency wherefrom he would contest, Omar stated that the list is coming to fore in the near future and that the people would come to know wherefrom he would fight. 'We should wait till the list comes out; only then people will come to know wherefrom I am fighting.'