AGENCY Srinagar: National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah on Monday asserted that the principal task ahead of the people of Jammu and Kashmir is to protect the state’s special status. He stressed that his party has fielded suitable candidates on all the Lok Sabha seats in the valley who will ensure that the voice of people is heard in Parliament. “Keeping in view the herculean task of putting up a strong front in protecting state’s special constitutional status, the party has fielded most suitable candidates from the three parliamentary constituencies of Kashmir,” Abdullah said. He was addressing rallies in Beerwah and Kunzar areas of Budgam and Baramulla districts of the state. The NC candidate for Anantnag seat is a legal luminary Justice (retired) Hassnain Masudi whose pronounced judgments and articles reveal his legal acumen and dedication while Mohammad Akbar Lone, a former advocate, is candidate from Baramulla Lok Sabha seat, he said. “For Srinagar, we could not think of anybody other than Farooq Abdullah. A four time chief minister, he has been representing state in Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha many a times in the past as well,” he said. “To have a person of his national standing representing state in Lok Sabha will benefit the interests of state,” he added. The former chief minister lashed out at the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for berating and belittling the mandate of people given to them in 2014 Lok Sabha and assembly polls. “Nowadays we hear PDP president Mehbooba Mufti saying that she will never join hands with BJP. How should we believe her?,” he said. “Previously she sought mandate of people at the pretext of keeping BJP out, but what followed was an apt case of political opportunism,” he added.
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