NC not to contest polls till special status restored, domicile law not acceptable: MP Akbar Lone

Asserting that his party will not be satisfied if domicile law was extended to J&K, National Conference senior leader and Member of Parliament (MP) Akbar Lone on Wednesday said that they (NC leaders) will not contest Assembly elections till Article 370 and Article 35 A were restored.

“NC will not participate in any elections till the time special status of J&K is not restored,” Mr Lone said.

Reacting to reports that Altaf Bukhari will soon launch a new party, he said none of the NC leader will leave the party and join the new dispensation. “The people who are associated with this dispensation are the ones who have been used by New Delhi during the last over two decades to push their agenda,” he said.

But, he said they can’t do anything as the people in this group have no mandate from the people. “BJP can try to get support from some people to push their agenda, but they have no mandate from the people. On the contrary, they have been rejected by the people in the past elections.

“Altaf Bukhari and people associated with him were the same guys who brought down NC president Farooq Abdullah-led government in 1984 and formed a new government. But, look how short lived that government was,” he said, adding they are trying to do that same this time, but we are certain that no one from our party will join them.

Answering why he didn’t resign as a mark of protest after August 5, he said it would not have achieved anything. “I will resign right now, but tell me what will it achieve… will it benefit me, my party… will my leadership be freed. Will it lead to restoring of special status of J&K. Will I be able to put on records in Parliament the protest against the move of the center? No,” he said.

He said his party will not accept domicile law as it doesn’t resonate with the aspiration of the people of J&K.

The NC leader also expressed confidence that the Supreme Court (SC) will give verdict on the plea, challenging abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35 A, in their favour.