Highlights

  • Farooq Abdullah re-elected NC president
  • Boycotting 2018 panchayat polls was a huge mistake
  • Abdullah warns army against interfering in J&K polls

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Farooq Abdullah re-elected as NC president, says party will contest every election

Farooq Abdullah was on Monday re-elected unopposed the president of the National Conference (NC), barely a fortnight after the 85-year-old leader announced he would not run for another term.

Re-elected National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah on Monday said boycotting the panchayat polls in 2018 was "a huge mistake" and the party must contest every future election in Jammu and Kashmir.

Abdullah also warned the government and the security forces not to interfere in any election process.

The former Union minister had expressed a desire to step down from the post owing to his health during a recent party meeting. After his re-election, he said though he wanted to step aside and let the younger leadership run the party, he was persuaded to continue as "we are passing through a very difficult phase".

"I want to tell the party that boycotting the panchayat elections (in 2018) was a huge mistake. Remember this, we will not boycott any coming election. Instead (we will) contest and win them," Abdullah said while addressing the party's delegate session where he was re-elected unopposed as National Conference (NC) president.

Referring to his son Omar Abdullah's announcement that he would not contest elections as long as Jammu and Kashmir remained a Union Territory, the senior Abdullah said, "As party president, I am telling you (Omar Abdullah) that you have to contest the election." "Because if we have to fight them, then we all have to jump into the fray and contest elections," he added.

The former Union minister said the BJP "will do anything, even make attempts to buy your loyalties, but God will fail all their designs".

Abdullah also warned the security forces and the government not to interfere in the elections in Jammu and Kashmir and said "let people decide whom to vote for".

"Otherwise, there will be such a storm, which you will not be able to control," he said.

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