Srinagar: While formally announcing the candidates for the upcoming by-elections for Islamabad and Srinagar parliamentary seats, NC working president and former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah termed the situation in south Kashmir as “worse than previous years”.
“The situation is not as bad as 90’s but it is much worse than it was when I handed over it to Mehbooba Mufti,” Omar said while reacting to the question pertaining to the situation in South Kashmir.
Omar Abdullah and state Chief of Congress GA MIR, including other senior members were addressing a press conference in Srinagar where candidates were announced formally.
As earlier reported, It was formally announced that NC patron Dr Farooq Abdullah will be contesting from the Srinagar parliamentary segment, while as the coalition partners announced that GA Mir will be contesting from Islamabad segment.
Raising his concerns over the security issues and the situation in South Kashmir, Omar alleged that government is discouraging opposition from campaigning and alleged that their security is being compromised.
“A concerted effort is now being made on the part of the government to discourage opposition from being able to move out and campaign,” he said, “Our security is being downgraded, bullet proof vehicles of the party functionaries are being withdrawn, escort vehicles are being taken away.”
Both Omar and Mir appealed Election Commission for adequate security arrangements during campaign.
While reacting to a question forging a pre-poll alliance, GA Mir said, “The coalition has been taken forward taking the desire of people on board and ensuring good poll percentage.
The reason for the collation is not due to of lack of faces, Omar said, but for the reason that anti-establishment vote should not get divided.
Refusing to agree that there would be lesser voter turnout, Mir said that, “If government will not be itself a factor, people will come out positively taking the recent circumstances into consideration.”
“These apprehensions can be found in ruling party only,” he said.
Omar said that their agenda will focus primarily on the problems faced by youth.
“Our aim is to highlight the issues of people and our agenda will focus on to initiate political dialogue, peace talks, developmental issues and excessive force used against youth.”
Earlier Congress members held a meeting with NC patron Dr Farooq at his residence regarding the future course of action.