SRINAGAR: Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said on Tuesday that his party, National Conference (NC), was fighting the Lok Sabha elections for the protection of the state's special status and not on developmental issues.
Addressing a poll meeting in south Kashmir's Shopian district today, the NC Vice President said: "Elections are generally contested for development, but this time we are fighting to safeguard Article 370 and 35A.
"People of the state would lose their land and employment if the special status is abrogated."
He said if voted to power during the state Assembly elections, the NC would scrap the controversial Public Safety Act (PSA).
"No mother will have to look for her children in jails if we are voted to power and for that this Parliament election would serve as a semi-final."
The third and last phase for the three-phased Anantnag Lok Sabha elections is scheduled on May 6.
There are 18 candidates in the fray in this constituency, but the main contest is between Mehbooba Mufti of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ghulam Ahmad Mir of Congress and Justice (Retired) Hasnain Masoodi of the NC.
The Bharatiya Janata Party has fielded Sofi Yusuf, the Peoples Conference (PC), Choudhary Zafar Ali. In addition, there is a lone woman candidate, Ridwana Sanam who is fighting as an independent candidate.
For the first time in the electoral history of the state, a non-local, Shams Khwaja, a lawyer from Uttar Pradesh is also in the fray here.k