'Kings Without Crown' In Local Admin Sabotaging Assembly Polls: Omar 

Banihal/Jammu- NC vice president Omar Abdullah on Saturday said the Centre seems ready to hold assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir but many "kings without crown" in the local administration are out to "sabotage" it as they don't want to transfer power back to the people.

He said there is no possibility of elections in the union territory if the vested interests in the local administration prevail.

Speaking to reporters after addressing a public meeting in Gool area of Ramban district, Abdullah said, the central government seems ready to hold assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir.

"You have to ask this question (about elections) to the local administration here. Was (is) the administration ready to hold elections? While the prime minister and the home minister are talking about elections (in Jammu and Kashmir), the local administration is out to sabotage it because there are so many kings without crown who do not want transfer of power back to the people," he said.

Referring to the panchayat elections in Jammu and Kashmir, he said the polls were held and the local bodies formed but they were not given the power they should have been given.

"Some people sitting in the secretariat want the power to remain with them in a centralised way," the NC leader alleged.

He said if the central government overcomes the local administration, the elections may take place in March-April next year, but there is no possibility of polls if the local administration prevails.

"But when(ever) the elections take place, we are ready for the polls," he added.

On his visit to Ramban, Abdullah said he last visited the district in August 2019 and was hoping to see a change but was disappointed.

"I was hoping to see a changed Ramban with a lot of development, but unfortunately the ground reality is going against the claims of the government, except the ongoing work on the four-laning project of (the Jammu-Srinagar) national highway that was sanctioned by former prime minister Manmohan Singh," he said.

Abdullah said he came to Ramban to bridge the gap between the leadership and the people that has grown after August 2019, when the Centre revoked the special status of the former state of Jammu and Kashmir and divided it into two union territories.

"I have come to meet my friends and the public who ensured the victory of National Conference candidates in the District Development Council elections, to congratulate the winners and encourage them," he said.

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