Kashmir bypolls: Farooq Abdullah says country belongs to all faiths; files nomination papers

Farooq Abdullah, who is the joint candidate of NC and Congress, and Nazir filed their nomination papers before Deputy Commissioner Srinagar today.

Published: 20th March 2017 07:37 PM  |   Last Updated: 20th March 2017 07:37 PM   |  A+A-

National Conference patron Farooq Abdullah (File |AFP)

By Express News Service

SRINAGAR: The opposition National Conference president Farooq Abdullah and ruling PDP candidate Nazir Ahmad Khan filed their nomination papers for bypolls to Srinagar Lok Sabha parliamentary seat on Monday with Abdullah saying the country belongs to all faiths and J&K cannot survive without friendship between India and Pakistan.

Abdullah, who is the joint candidate of NC and Congress, and Nazir filed their nomination papers before Deputy Commissioner Srinagar today.

Under the seat sharing agreement between NC and Congress, Abdullah will contest from Srinagar parliamentary seat and State Congress chief G A Mir from Anantnag-Pulwama parliamentary seat, where from J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s cinematographer brother Tasaduq Mufti is PDP  candidate.

The by-election to Srinagar constituency was necessitated by resignation of Tariq Hamid Karra from the Lok Sabha and from ruling PDP in September last year to protest mishandling of situation during unrest in the Valley by Mehbooba Mufti led government.

The bypolls for the Srinagar seat in central Kashmir comprising 15 Assembly segments will be held on April 9.

The NC, Congress and PDP have started election campaign in favour of their respective candidates. But the campaign has remained confined to indoor only due to situation in the Valley, where 92 civilians were killed and over 13000 injured in security forces firing in over five months of unrest last year following killing of 21-year-old Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 8, 2016.

Both Abdullah and Khan addressed the party workers meet at their respective party headquarters, here.

 “The fire of communalism and polarization that is being fanned and spreading across country needs to be stopped before it engulfs our values and robs us of our rights, sense of dignity and special constitutional status,” Abdullah said while addressing NC and Congress workers at the party headquarters, here.

He said the country belongs to all faith and not just to people of a single religion.

“Till the nation remains for everyone, we are associated with it. However, if this thing does not remain, then only Almighty knows what storm is in store,” Abdullah said adding, “We have to save this nation from the disaster and the fire that is engulfing it”.

Urging people to vote for NC-Congress candidates in the bypolls, he said there should be no doubt in minds of people that PDP is now almost officially an affiliate of RSS and any remaining doubts were cleared by the open campaigning and support being offered by the BJP to the two candidates being fielded by PDP.

Referring to tension between India and Pakistan, the NC president said J&K cannot survive unless there is friendship and talks between the two countries.

The PDP’s candidate for Srinagar seat Nazir Khan while addressing workers at party headquarters describing Abdullah as a “discredited politician” and said NC is now only surviving because of support from the  Congress.

Appealing people to vote for PDP candidates, Khan reminded them that Muslim voters of Deoband in Uttar Pradesh had voted for BJP and the voters here should vote for PDP candidates.

Speaking on the occasion, senior PDP leader and MP Muzzafar Hussain Baig lashed out at separatist leaders and accused them of building their houses on graves of young boys of the valley, who have been victims of their politics of deceit.

“I crave for facilities as an MP and pray that I be bestowed the facilities enjoyed by the Huriryat leaders,” he said and took a dig at them for inciting youth to pelt stones on security forces.

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