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"It's SC verdict to conduct elections before September 30": Omar Abdullah on PM Modi's assembly polls remark in J-K

Srinagar: Commenting on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's remarks that "time is not far" for assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir, National Conference leader Omar Abdullah on Friday said that the Supreme Court has already said that the polls have to held before September 30 and it is compulsion for the Centre to do so.
Omar Abdullah said it would have been "a favour" if the assembly polls were held earlier by the Centre but now it has to abide by the timeline fixed by the Supreme Court.
"It is the verdict of the Supreme Court. It would have been a favour for us if he (PM Modi) had conducted elections before the verdict of the SC. It is now a compulsion for him. It is the Supreme Court's verdict to conduct elections in Jammu and Kashmir before September 30," the National Conference leader told reporters.
Asked about PM Modi's assurance of restoring statehood to Jammu and Kashmir, Omar Abdullah said that the central government has till now not been able to explain the reason behind the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act.
"As far as statehood is concerned, he could not explain to us the reason why it was taken from us. We understand that the abrogation of Article 370 was mentioned in their manifesto but why was the statehood taken?" he asked.
PM Modi on Friday assured that the Centre is committed to restoring statehood to Jammu and Kashmir and that assembly polls will also be held soon.
"The time is not far when assembly elections will be held in Jammu and Kashmir also. Jammu and Kashmir will get back its state status. You will be able to share your dreams with your MLAs, and your ministers," PM Modi said at a rally in Udhampur.
The central government had in August 2019 abrogated Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated it into two Union Territories (UTs) - Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
Omar Abdullah is contesting Lok Sabha polls from Baramulla in Kashmir.
While upholding the government's decision to abrogate of Article 370 of the Constitution, which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, the Supreme Court had in December last year directed the Election Commission of India to hold polls before September 30, 2024.
The Lok Sabha polls in Jammu and Kashmir will be held in the first five phases on April 19 (Udhampur), April 26 (Jammu), May 7 (Anntnag-Rajouri), May 13 (Srinagar) and May 20 (Baramulla).

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