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BJP’s win in Har, Maha will affect J-K Assembly polls: Omar

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SRINAGAR: Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Tuesday said BJP’s win in Haryana and Maharashtra would have some effect on the Assembly elections in the State, but maintained that the influence would not be as much as previously expected.
“While obviously, the BJP will have some effect in Jammu and Kashmir, I don’t think it will be as much as previously expected,” Omar told reporters here.
The Chief Minister said though BJP did well in the elections in the two states, the results were not upto their expectations.
The Chief Minister said, “Yes, they (BJP) have done well, but not nearly as well as they had expected. If you compare BJP’s Parliament results in Haryana and BJP-Shiv Sena results in Parliament (polls) till now, they haven’t translated Parliament results into Assembly results in those states.
“In Haryana, they just about crossed the half-way mark. In Maharashtra, they need to go back and eat a bit of a humble -pie and look for an ally, where they were talking about making a government on their own,” he said.
Omar, whose party the National Conference (NC) is in favour of delaying the elections in the State, said it was the decision for the Election Commission to take.
“I do not have to take a decision on the elections. It has to be decided by the EC. They came here, had discussions at official level and talked to various political parties and perhaps they will announce their decision in the coming few days.
“If they decide on conducting elections, then people have to be ready for that. I cannot say anything on it as the head of a government, but the party’s stand on the issue has been made clear to the EC and to the people through the media,” he said.
Earlier, the Chief Minister, in his address at the Police Commemoration Day Parade at Zevan here, said the police had to get ready for a new challenge as elections were approaching.
“Now, we have to get ready for a new challenge. There is a possibility that the elections would be announced in the coming days and if it is so, then you (Police) will have to do your work.
“You should give confidence to the people and provide a sense of security to them, so that they take their own decision. If they want to vote, they should do so in a polling booth. (You) should rise above political considerations and do your work only. The voter will himself decide on who wins and who losses,” he said.
Omar said the people should not be forced to boycott the elections and stay away from their right to franchise.
“We cannot decide on who votes and who doesn’t. We cannot pressurise the people to come out to vote and they should not even be forced to stay away from voting and you (Police) have an important role to play in that,” the Chief Minister said.
Referring to recent floods, he lauded the youth of the Valley and various forces for their efforts and hard-work in saving many lives during the floods last month. “We perhaps do not know your (youth) names and would not ever, but we salute your efforts and hard work. I take the opportunity to thank you on behalf of the people you saved and on my government’s behalf,” Omar said. Recalling the difficult situation in the immediate aftermath of the floods, Omar said about 280 people lost their precious lives in the State due to the floods.
“Had the uniformed-forces – Army, NDRF, CRPF, BSF and J and K Police not helped, the death toll could have been much more.
“Where, I want to thank theses forces today, I want to thank that other force which did not wear uniform and were not paid salaries, but who, on their own saved many people,” he said. Omar said if the police, army, CRPF and BSF saved lakhs of people, then it won’t be wrong to say that the youth of Srinagar saved lakhs of them too. The Chief Minister said the government tried to reach out to the people and it was for them to decided whether the government did its job well or not.
“When the waters receded, our attempt was to reach to the people. If we did well or not, that is for the people to decide. But we have to accept that even after the floods of this magnitude, no one died of hunger or cold.
“People used to say that when Kashmir gets flooded, more people die of disease than by the waters. Today, I can tell the people that there was no spread of any disease due to the flood waters and no precious life was lost due to any disease,” he said.
Omar, however, said there was a danger that diseases may spread due to the dead animals.
“More than 1500 carcasses were lifted and buried in a scientific way in a few days. Every day, before the floods, 200 tons of garbage was lifted in Srinagar city, but after the floods about 3,000 ton of waste was lifted every day by the municipality. Then only we reached this conclusion that no one died of disease,” he said. (PTI)

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