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Alliance with Cong to consolidate anti-establishment vote: Omar

Omar Abdullah (left) and G A Mir (right)

‘There was no better way to emerge as winners’

 

Srinagar:  National Conference working President Omar Abdullah on Wednesday declared that the alliance with Congress for the Lok Sabha by-polls is not due to shortage of candidates but to prevent the anti-establishment vote from getting divided.

Addressing a joint press conference with JKPCC chief GA Mir, the former chief minister said there was no better way than an alliance in order to emerge as winners.

Omar also said that NC President Dr. Farooq Abdullah will contest from Srinagar and Mir will be the candidate from Anantnag constituency.

“The alliance didn’t take place due to the shortage of candidates but for the reason that anti-establishment vote should not get divided. We think that there was no better way besides going for an alliance to emerge as winners in the parliament by-polls. There are no compulsions in politics but all the decisions are being taken after proper discussion,” said Omar.

The former CM also informed that NC workers will start campaigning for Mir and Congress in turn will extend full support to NC.

“We had various discussions regarding the alliance and before addressing the presser we met at the residence of Farooq Abdullah to discuss the matter. The congress party has assured us that they will extend their full support in the by-elections.”

Mir admitted that contesting elections at present was a challenge and in such circumstances state government has withdrawn their security.

“It is a challenge to contest elections at present. The state government must provide adequate security so that the campaigning for the seats won’t get affected,” he said.

He further added, “Bullet proof vehicles and other major security has been withdrawn from us by the government. We appeal to the Election Commission of India (ECI) to direct the government to provide adequate security so that the campaigning won’t get affected.”

Speaking about the loss of the alliance in 2014, both parties said that instead of the blame game, they would highlight the plight of Kashmiris, especially the youth.

“We will try to focus on the sufferings of youth and will try to highlight the plights of people of Kashmir. Besides, we will stress upon the dialogue process, which is the only way to resolve the Kashmir issue,” the allied parties said.

“It is not good to blame each other over 2014 defeat but we have to think about the future and we will try to put up a good fight.”

The Chief Electoral Officer of the state Shantmanu has informed that over 27 lakh voters will cast their votes in the by-polls in both constituencies on 9th and 12th April.

He had also mentioned that special polling stations have been set up at Jammu, Udhampur and Delhi for migrant voters numbering 73,000.

The last date for filing nominations has been fixed as 21st March for Srinagar and 24th for Anantnag respectively.

The CEO also said that counting of votes would be held on 15th April and the election process would be completed on 16th.

With inputs from KNS

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