In a candid address to a gathering of party workers at Handwara, Jammu and Kashmir National Conference Vice President Omar Abdullah voiced the prevailing discontent among residents of the region with the current administration led by the Lieutenant Governor (LG). The convention, organized by Senior party leader Choudhary Muhammad Ramzan, provided a platform for Omar Abdullah to express his concerns and critique the government’s policies.
The convention witnessed the participation of several prominent party figures, including Party Treasurer Shammi Oberoi, Provincial President Nasir Aslam Wani, Political Advisor Mudassar Shahmiri, North Zone President Javed Dar, Senior Leaders Sharifuddin Shariq and Mir Saifullah, District president Kupwara Qaiser Jamshed Lone, and Provincial Secretary Showkat Mir, among others.
Omar Abdullah did not mince words as he addressed the gathering, stating, “The level of disappointment in every region of Jammu and Kashmir with the current administration has reached unprecedented heights.” He went on to highlight a range of issues, including youth anger, economic challenges, and administrative decisions.
Some key points made by Omar Abdullah during his address include:
- Unemployment Crisis: Abdullah underscored the alarming rate of unemployment in the region, criticizing the inconsistency in recruitment processes, which left many job seekers in limbo.
- Inflation Concerns: He expressed concern over rising prices of essential commodities, gas, and other items, noting that the cost of living has become increasingly burdensome for the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
- Electricity Meters Controversy: Abdullah pointed out the confusion surrounding the installation of electricity meters, from digital meters to the recent shift to smart meters, creating uncertainty among consumers.
- Ration Distribution: He drew attention to the changes in the ration distribution system, emphasizing that the quantity of provided ration has decreased, while prices have increased, placing additional financial strain on families.
- Agricultural Woes: Abdullah raised the issue of horticulturists and the removal of taxes on American apples and walnuts, suggesting that this decision adversely affected local produce.
Regarding political opponents, Omar Abdullah defended the National Conference’s legacy, stating, “The color of the National Conference flag is red because of the sacrifices and warm blood of the dedicated leaders, officials, and workers of this party.” He criticized those who, in the past, had collaborated with the party and now labeled it negatively, highlighting the need for consistency in political stances.
Omar Abdullah reiterated the party’s commitment to pursuing legal and constitutional avenues for change, emphasizing that they would continue to fight for justice through peaceful and lawful means.
The convention also featured an interactive session with lawyers and youth wing workers at the residence of Choudhary Muhammad Ramzaan, further underscoring the National Conference’s engagement with its members and supporters.