Government failed to provide right atmosphere for LS by-polls: Omar

Srinagar: Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Thursday alleged that the Election Commission and the state government failed to provide a congenial atmosphere for two parliamentary by-polls in the Kashmir Valley.

Speaking to media on the sidelines of a poll campaign meeting, Omar said: “It is for the political parties to take part in the elections, but it is the duty of the state government and the Election Commission to provide the right atmosphere for these elections.”

The opposition National Conference Working President said the state police chief’s recent statement that youths who pelt stones at the security forces engaged in gun battles with militants are attempting suicide, would add to the existing alienation and tension.

Addressing the National Conference poll meeting, Farooq Abdullah, said: “Unless India, Pakistan and the people of the state sit together to resolve it, there would be no solution to the Kashmir issue.”

Abdullah is the joint candidate of the National Conference and the Congress for Srinagar-Budgam parliamentary by-poll, and is challenged by ruling Peoples Democratic Party’s Nazir Ahmad Khan.

Voting for the Srinagar-Budgam parliamentary by-poll is scheduled on April 9. The Lok Sabha seat fell vacant when PDP’s sitting MP Tariq Karra resigned from the party during the summer of unrest for aligning with the BJP.

By-poll is also being held to the Lok Sabha from the Anantnag constituency on April 12. The seat fell vacant in April last year when Mehbooba Mufti resigned from the Lok Sabha to assume the Chief Minister’s office of the Jammu and Kashmir following her father Mufti Mohammed Sayeed’s death.