Nothing new in PM's speech at Srinagar: Omar

National Conference (NC) vice president Omar Abdullah on Friday said there was nothing new in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's speech at a rally here on Thursday, and the hopes of the people of Jammu and Kashmir were dashed.
National Conference (NC) vice president Omar Abdullah
National Conference (NC) vice president Omar Abdullah

Srinagar | National Conference (NC) vice president Omar Abdullah on Friday said there was nothing new in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's speech at a rally here on Thursday, and the hopes of the people of Jammu and Kashmir were dashed.

“I did not see anything new in the speech. He (Modi) talked about the same things that he has been (talking about). He did not mention anything which the people wanted to hear -- about the restoration of democracy,” Abdullah told reporters on the sidelines of a party function.

The former J-K chief minister said that while the prime minister himself cannot announce the elections, PM Modi should at least have said about conducting the assembly elections before the Supreme Court's September 31 deadline.

"He should have said there would be polls before that (deadline), he should have said something about the restoration of the full statehood, announced an employment package for the unemployed youth, something for the regularisation of the daily-wage workers, about the electricity crisis," the NC leader added.

"We were hoping Modi will speak about these, but our hopes were dashed," he said.

Asked about the prime minister's remarks that Article 370 was exploited by the Congress and the regional parties in the valley, Abdullah alleged it is the BJP which has exploited the issue for political gains.

“When have we used it? The people here had an emotional attachment with Article 370 and that will not go away. Those who celebrated its abrogation, are now mourning it. The people of Ladakh and Jammu today want the special status back. So, we did not use Article 370.

“It is the BJP which has exploited Article 370. It has been a political football for the BJP and they have been using it. Had that not been the case, what was the need for the PM to sell tickets (promote) of a film? He comes to Jammu and praises a Bollywood movie made on Article 370. If this is not using Article 370 for politics, then what is?” he said.

Earlier, former Baramulla MLA Javed Hussain Beig joined the NC along with his supporter. Beig, nephew of former deputy chief minister and Padmashree awardee Muzaffar Hussain Beig, was recently expelled from the Apni Party. He was a PDP legislator from the Baramulla assembly segment in 2014.

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