Not shifting constituency in 2014, says Omar Abdullah

Srinagar, Dec 21: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Saturday denied he had shift from his Ganderbal constituency during 2014 assembly elections.

“Who said I have decided not to contest from Ganderbal?” he told media persons on the sidelines of a function here on the recent statement by his uncle and senior National Conference (NC) leader Mustafa Kamal that Abdullah would contest from Sonawar constituency in Srinagar in 2014.

“Dr.Mustafa Kamal can speak about Hazratbal assembly constituency which he represents. I am the elected representative from Ganderbal and I am authorized to speak on that behalf. Elections to the state assembly are still almost one year away. We shall talk about them when the time comes,” he said.

Intense political speculations had been triggered by Mustafa Kamal’s statement made earlier this week that Omar Abdullah had decided not to seek re-election from Ganderbal, from where the Abdullahs have been contesting since 1975.

His grandfather and NC founder, Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah fought two elections from Ganderbal in 1975 and 1977, while his father Farooq Abdullah fought and won from Ganderbal in 1983, 1987 and 1996.

Omar Abdullah himself lost elections from Ganderbal in 2002 to People’s Democratic Party’s Qazi Muhammad Afzal, but defeated Afzal in 2008.