J&K Polls: Omar Abdullah files nomination from Beerwah
Beerwah (JK): Thousands of National Conference supporters painted this central Kashmir town red by carrying out a massive roadshow as party's working president and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah filed his nomination from this assembly segment today.
Red-and-white flags and buntings of the NC adorned both sides of the road from Narbal to Beerwah - distance of nearly 20 kilometres - as Omar interacted with people along the way.
Omar, who chose to contest from Beerwah and Sonawar assembly segments instead of the Ganderbal family bastion, stepped beyond the security protocol to mingle with the enthusiastic supporters.
Omar's security detail had a tough time as the supporters of the Chief Minister used the opportunity to click some ‘selfies' with their leader.
After filing his nomination papers, the supporters did not allow the NC leader to board his vehicle and instead urged him to walk through to Beerwah Bus Stand, where he is scheduled to address a rally.
Omar happily obliged and even instructed the security personnel not to prevent people from coming closer to him. Clad in a pheran (traditional Kashmiri gown used during winter), Omar paid obeisance at a local shrine at Nihalpora in Pattan area of Baramulla district.
Hundreds of trucks, buses, cars, autorickhsaws and motorcycles formed a huge procession in front and at the back of the cavalcade of the NC working president. Shouting slogans in favour of Omar and the NC - the premier political party in the state, the activists including women broke into spontaneous dance jigs and cheers.
Traditional Kashmiri folk songs - a medium used by the National Conference during its rallies right since party founder Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah was jailed in 1953 - were sung by the women supporters along the way. While passing through the native village of Congress candidate from Beerwah seat Nazir Ahmad Khan, the Chief Minister's road show was booed by the supporters of the local aspirant.
Omar stopped and addressed them: “Your opposition is also welcome. We welcome the opinion of everyone who participates in the democratic process.”
Many a supporters of the NC in the area were beaming with smiles and enthusiasm over the fact the Omar had chosen Beerwah to contest the state elections. “Beerwah has been traditionally a strong-hold of the National Conference but the cadre was not organised. With Omar Sahib deciding to adopt the constituency, the party has been rejuvenated,” Ghulam Hassan Khan, a retired Government employee, said.
Farooq Ahmad, a shopkeeper by profession, is confident of Omar's victory and hopeful that the Beerwah constituency has better days ahead.
“Our present MLA (Mohammad Shafi of PDP) has neglected the constituency and we have lacked on development front,” Ahmad said adding basic amenities like roads are in dilapidated condition.
Beerwah will go to the polls in the third phase of the five-phased assembly elections on December 9.