Restore statehood first, if you want elections in J&K: Omar Abdullah to Centre
New Delhi, June 26: Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah on Saturday rejected the Centre's proposal of holding Assembly elections before granting statehood to Jammu and Kashmir.
Addressing a press conference, Omar said "Azad sa'ab (Ghulam Nabi Azad) had spoken on behalf of all of us that we don't accept this timeline. We don't accept delimitation, election, statehood. We want delimitation, statehood and then the election. If you want to hold polls, you will have to restore statehood first," he said to ANI.
The Jammu and Kashmir leader also said that the Gupkar Alliance will not back down from its demand for revocation of Article 370, even if it takes "70 months or more".
"Not only Mehbooba Mufti but Farooq sa'ab also said that it took 70 years for BJP to succeed in their agenda of abrogation of Article 370. We won't back off from our mission, even if it takes us 70 weeks or 70 months or more time," he said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday told a group of leaders from Jammu and Kashmir that assembly elections will be held after the completion of the ongoing delimitation exercise.
During the three-and-a-half-hour-long meeting, almost all the 14 leaders from Jammu and Kashmir demanded that its statehood, which was removed in August 2019, should be restored.
PM Modi appreciated the cordial atmosphere of talks and the frank exchange of views.