J&K Assembly elections soon: Farooq Abdullah
9 May 2001
The Indian Express
Srinagar: Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah has said elections to the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly will be held "very soon" and asked political parties to get ready. "We conducted panchayat polls even as almost everyone was skeptical about it and doubted whether we could do it. But we did it....I am going to hold Assembly elections very soon" he told Doordarshan last evening. Abdullah, forewarning his political opponents, said "let them get ready for the Assembly polls lest they say they were taken unaware. Assembly elections will be held in the same manner as the panchayat elections." The six-year term of the present House expires in October next year. He said a meaningful dialogue with Pakistan has to be initiated to ensure peace in the state. On the Centre's offer to hold a dialogue with Kashmiri leaders, he said spurning it by the Hurriyat conference did not mean that peace cannot return to Kashmir. "Hurriyat is dancing to the tunes of its masters in Pakistan," he said. Lambasting his opponents, the Chief Minister said they had nothing to offer except targeting his government and charging it with having failed to fulfil its promises. "Even though we have done a remarkable job, constructed roads, school buildings and bridges, that were extensively damaged during the last many years, my critics allege that we have failed."