Boycott of 2018 panchayat polls huge mistake: Farooq Abdullah : The Tribune India

Boycott of 2018 panchayat polls huge mistake: Farooq Abdullah

Re-elected unopposed as president of National Conference



Our Correspondent

Srinagar, December 5

Farooq Abdullah, who had recently announced that he would step down as the National Conference (NC) president, was on Monday re-elected unopposed as the party chief. He said boycotting the panchayat polls in 2018 was a huge mistake. The poll was held at the party head office in Srinagar.

Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah in Srinagar on Monday. Amin War

Abdullah also warned the government and the security forces not to interfere in any election process. He threatened to launch a protest if such things crop up. “I want to tell the party that boycotting the panchayat elections (in 2018) was a huge mistake. Remember this, we will not boycott any upcoming election. Instead (we will) contest and win them,” He said while addressing a party session.

On November 18, Farooq had said he would quit in December to hand over the mantle to the younger generation, a move termed by his party a “sudden announcement”. Farooq said he wanted to step aside but was persuaded to continue as “the current phase was a difficult one”.

Referring to his son Omar Abdullah’s announcement that he would not contest elections as long as J&K remained a UT, Farooq said Omar should contest elections. “If we have to fight them, we all have to contest elections,” he added.

The 83-year-old succeeded his father Sheikh Abdullah as NC president in 1981. He has been holding the current position since 2009. He has served as the CM of the erstwhile state of J&K thrice — 1982-84, 1986-90 and 1996-2002.

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