January 2002 News

Abdullah hints J&K polls in September

23 January 2002
The Times of India

NEW DELHI: Indicating that the elections in Jammu and Kashmir were likely to be held in September this year, Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah on Wednesday blamed Opposition parties in the state and Hurriyat Conference for continued miseries of the people in the state.''The present government has mandate till October 11 and I think we will go to polls in September as the tourism season and farming work is near completion by that time,'' Abdullah, who is in the capital, said in an interview.Replying to the charges of corruption levelled by political parties especially by Mehbooba Mufti of People''s Democratic Party (PDP) against his government, Abdullah said, ''what else they can say. They have to spread their message so that people come to their side.''However, he said these opposition parties should do some introspection before levelling charges against ''my government.''About Hurriyat Conference and other separatist leaders in the state, the chief minister said his doors were still open for them if they wanted to join the national mainstream.''These leaders including Hurriyat Conference should think what contribution they have made for the people of state except bring in large scale miseries.'' The chief minister said he would still want that better sense prevailed upon Hurriyat leaders and they could help him in reconstructing the entire state. To a specific charge levelled by Mehbooba Mufti that his government was indulging in state-sponsored terrorism, Abdullah said, ''I do not visit the house of Lashker-e-Taiba or Jaish-e- Mohammed militants when they are killed. She visits every house that is anti-Indian to the core.''She (Mehbooba) has never visited any house that belongs to workers of National Conference, Congress or for that matter any nationalist party, who have died because they believe that Kashmir is a part of India,'' the chief minister said, adding, ''if given a chance, this lady is also one, who can never be trusted.'' Wishing Mehbooba Mufti best of luck, Abdullah said, ''for gaining power, she will even join the devil.''Asked whether there were any differences within the ruling National Conference party especially in view of the statement of his party''s General Secretary Sheikh Nazir that Kashmir dispute should be solved as per wishes of Kashmiri people, Abdullah said, ''you should not listen to anyone except me. After all I am the president of the party.''Asked whether there would be any poll alliances with other political parties, he said, ''though the question is too premature to be answered, I believe in going along with others rather than walk on crutches.''


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