J&K: Omar Abdullah Leads NC's Campaign, Explains His Party's Vision

(MENAFN- IANS) Srinagar, May 18 (IANS) For weeks National conference (NC) leader and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has been extensively campaigning in areas near the Line of Control in Baramulla Lok Sabha constituency in North Kashmir from where he is contesting this time.

It's a departure from the traditional stronghold in Srinagar for the NC Vice-President.

Omar says his fight is not against an individual but is against the BJP.

"The BJP doesn't have candidates in this election, so anybody who is contesting against the National Conference and the INDIA bloc is benefitting the BJP. There are only three official INDIA bloc candidates in this election from the Valley: Mian Altaf Ahmad from South Kashmir, Aga Ruhullah Mehdi from Central Kashmir, and me from North Kashmir," he said.

Ruhullah Mehdi has been nominated by the NC to contest from the Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency.

Omar has said that he won't contest for the Assembly until Jammu and Kashmir's status remains that of a Union Territory.

The Baramulla Lok Sabha seat, with its 18 Assembly constituencies, is witnessing a closely contested battle.

The party also relies on Shia support in areas like Budgam, Beerwah and Bandipora to bolster its chances of victory.

Delimitation in 2019 reshaped the electoral landscape, expanding the constituency to include Shia-dominated areas.

"Statehood is not an agenda for us, we are taking that as a given regardless of which government is in power at the Centre after June 4 statehood whether before Assembly election or after, we are taking that for granted, bit as far as what was done to us on August 5, 2019, constitutionally in terms of our status and what that has meant for us, It is going to be a long struggle, hopefully, if not today, tomorrow we will have a government at the Centre that is made up of friends that see eye-to-eye with us on this crucial issue."

But while the National Conference aims to consolidate its position, challenges lie ahead in meeting the expectations of the people and delivering on political promises.

"Omar Abdullah is a tall leader and had been the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir in the past, people have a lot of expectations from him, we want him to win the elections and do work for people in this area that lack health facilities and are economically backward," an NC supporter in Kupwara said.

As the poll battle in Jammu and Kashmir continues to evolve, all eyes remain on the Lok Sabha election results for the Union Territory, which could also determine the future of its political trajectory.



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