Omar Abdullah writes to ECI

Srinagar, May 9 (UNI) Jammu and Kashmir National Conference president and party candidate from Baramulla Lok Sabha seat Omar Abdullah has written an “urgent Memorandum to the Chief Election Commissioner of India” after the party was asked to reschedule its campaign from May 9 to May 18 in north Kashmir.

Omar accused the Jammu and Kashmir administration of deliberately scuttling the NC campaign ahead of the polls in Baramulla Lok Sabha seat that goes to polls on May 20.

In a letter to the ECI, Omar submitted that the JKNC had requested for permission to conduct various political rallies, in Baramulla which were duly approved.

“These were however rejected by the S.P Sopore demanding the party reschedule the same to other dates. It is imperative to note that the order is devoid and silent of any reason as to why campaigning rallies and meetings should be rescheduled. This denial of permissions is aimed at derailing the political campaign of the party,” Omar said.

“From a brief perusal of the Order it is worth making note of the fact that permission was sought to conduct political activities up to the date of 18.05.24, which is also the last day of campaigning for the Baramulla Constituency seat. It is submitted to this Commission that the decision to cancel these permissions is not only arbitrary but also a blatant and egregious attempt to surreptitiously disadvantage the JKNC as compared to other political parties. This discriminatory action is a direct assault on democracy and the principles of fair competition in the electoral arena. It is unconscionable that while some political parties enjoy unfettered access and support from the administration, JKNC is subjected to constant obstruction and harassment,” the letter read.

“It is submitted that as per the Model Code of Conduct and other election laws currently in effect which mandates that political parties inform the police of the political events for the purpose that the security agencies make necessary arrangements for the same. It is submitted that after prior permission for these events have been sought and approved the police has no power whatsoever to deny permission for the said events and demand rescheduling after the period of campaigning has lapsed, especially through an order which is unreasoned,” it added.

Omar requested Commission to take immediate cognisance of the said matter and issue necessary directions to the S.P Sopore directing that the given campaign schedule within the order be permitted to be carried out.

The failure to address the said matter promptly and swiftly will only serve to undermine the credibility of the electoral process and erode public trust in the institution created to uphold the values of democracy, he added.

Omar while sharing the letter on X said that his opponents have been unnerved by the tremendous response his campaign is receiving throughout North Kashmir.

Peoples Conference chairman Sajad Lone, who is contesting against Omar Abdullah said that his party has also been asked to reschedule programmes.

Lone reacted sharply to Omar’s accusations.

“Can we stop this TARBAAZI (telling lies). We have now stooped to TARBAAZ (liar)- Pro. And seems we will need to create a special section to counter lies manufactured by you on an hourly basis. We have also been instructed to reschedule our programmes. In fact both PC and NC have been intimated in the same order, which I have attached for your reference. In wonderment why you couldn’t read the whole order. Stop being a cry baby. And tell your cronies to come up with lies which have a longer shelf life. I was accosted out of a village just two hours back. Ohh God this entitlement of yours is sickening. A humble advice. For your opponents to get unnerved you have to have crowds. Don’t expect us to get unnerved with non existent crowds. Introspect on non existent crowds. And youngsters chasing you away,” Lone posted on X.

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