Srinagar, Nov 25: With a heavy turnout recorded in the first of the five-phase Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Tuesday expressed confidence that his National Conference will emerge as the single largest party in the state.
"NC is poised to prove armchair commentators and biased voices against Jammu and Kashmir completely wrong by emerging as the single largest party in the ensuing Assembly elections on the basis of historic development initiatives taken by the party-led government in the last six years," Omar said at a public meeting in north Kashmir.
Fifteen assembly constituencies in the 87-member house went to polls today, registering over 70 per cent turnout. Omar, who addressed rallies in Kupwara, Langate and Kulgam in north Kashmir, said the 2014 elections were similar to the elections of 1977 when the National Conference attained a spectacular majority in the state assembly in stark contrast to perceptions that had been engineered ahead of the polls. "...you will ensure a repeat of 1977 and make National Conference victorious," the Chief Minister told the gathering.
Omar lashed out at opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and a faction of People's Conference led by Sajjad Ghani Lone who parted ways with separatists and joined the national mainstream 2009. Lone's faction is fighting the Assembly polls for the first time, while another faction of Peoples Conference led by his brother Bilal Ghani Lone is part of moderate faction of Hurriyat Conference which has called for boycott of the polls.