Omar Abdullah asks EC to direct authorities to allow his poll campaign as per schedule

Srinagar, May 9: National Conference vice-president and candidate for the Baramulla Lok Sabha seat Omar Abdullah Thursday asked the Election Commission to direct authorities in the constituency to allow his campaign programme as per schedule.Abdullah’s letter to the EC comes a day after the Superintendent of Police in Sopore Divya D issued an official directive to the additional district magistrate, outlining the rescheduling of various political activities in the area.The order postponed a car rally from May 9 to May 18 and rescheduled a political rally in Rafiabad from May 10 to May 18, while no new date was provided for a May 12 gathering scheduled in Behrampora.Abdullah, who has been actively campaigning in the region, was to participate in all three.The order also mentioned the cancellation of a People’s Conference rally in Rafiabad which was to be addressed by local party workers.Campaigning for the Lok Sabha seat is scheduled to end at 5 pm on May 18.Taking to social media platform ‘X’, Abdullah alleged that the police directive to cancel his election canvassing in some parts of the constituency was aimed at sabotaging his campaign.”My opponents have been unnerved by the tremendous response my campaign is receiving throughout the North Kashmir. This move to sabotage my campaign in three important segments is further proof of their collective inability to match the response of the voters. They have taken to hiding behind the Administration which is going out of its way to help these BJP proxy candidates,” he said.”I hope the @ECISVEEP will take note of this move by the administration to sabotage my campaign,” Abdullah added.Sopore falls within the Baramulla Lok Sabha constituency, which will go to polls on May 20 in the fifth phase of the parliamentary polls.Sajad Lone, who is the chief of a faction of the People’s Conference, is contesting from Baramulla. Another faction of the party is led by his brother Bilal Lone, who is a part of the moderate separatist amalgam Hurriyat Conference.The rescheduling directive did not cite specific reasons but sources familiar with the situation indicated that it was due to the ongoing cordon-and-search operations following intelligence reports of foreign terrorists being present in the region.Tanvir Sadiq, the chief spokesperson of the NC, condemned the administration for allegedly hindering a level-playing field for party vice-president Abdullah in the Baramulla constituency.–(PTI)

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