Former Jammu & Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah said the National Conference will continue fighting “democratically, constitutionally and politically” for restoration of Article 370, which was abrogated by the Centre three years ago. He believes the NC, which has filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging the decision announced by the Centre on 5 August 2019, has a strong case, saying, “We are not on the roads or misleading the public or taking the law in our hands for restoration of Article 370. We will continue our fight democratically, constitutionally and politically and it is our right.
“I am not among those who will give up (on Article 370). we have faith in the Supreme Court but our only request is that at least it should listen to us. We believe that our case is strong,” Abdullah said.
He said he would have felt uneasy had the Supreme Court acted swiftly on a batch of petitions related to the issue, considering that the government of India wants it to be decided soon.
“Since the Supreme Court is taking time, I believe that they also know that our case is strong,” he added.
The NC leader said the government can’t be expected to restore Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370 as it took it away in the first place. “We have not demanded it from the central government. The one who had taken it away from us, should I hope that they will return it to us?” he asked.
He said very few parties had backed the NC’s stand on the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status. So, he also does not expect that if any other party were to come to power at the Centre, it will restore it. “I will not tell people to wait till 2024 (elections) as the government is changing, which I do not see happening. It is a political fight and we are fighting it with a belief that we will win,” Abdullah said.
National Conference Vice President Omar Abdullah also alleged that the people are fed up with the centre’s administration in Jammu and Kashmir and called for an assembly election soon to end the political uncertainty in the region.
There was no change on the ground. We were hopeful that the situation would improve but it did not, Omar said at a conclave in Jammu, adding, “We are living in a vacuum because no assembly elections have been held in more than eight years”
Omar said that the central government had promised to hold the assembly elections after completion of the delimitation exercise, but even after the commission submitted its report long back, it is yet to announce the election dates.
“The common man is fed up with the governor’s rule. I am seeing this for the first time. Otherwise, my experience tells me that people are satisfied with such a rule because they feel there is no political intervention in administrative decisions,” he said.