Omar Abdullah
NC media cell

A massive controversy erupted after the district police head of Sopore asked political parties to reschedule their activities due to an unavoidable situation. The main opposition party, National Conference, charged authorities with denying a level playing field to all political parties contesting elections in Kashmir Valley.

"Our rivals are putting pressure on the Election Commission of India to scuttle our programmes. We appeal to the Election Commission of India to have a level playing field. Just because a political party is scared of the National Conference does not become a reason to defer our programs," Tanvir Sadiq, chief spokesperson of the National Conference said.

"We have just received a letter from the police in which our representative in Baramulla district has been asked to reschedule our political activities in the district from May 9 to May 18," he said, expressing surprise that May 18 is the last day for campaigning.

"It is really shocking that we have been asked to reschedule our programmes when election campaigning is at its peak," he said, adding that even permission has been denied to hold a rally at Rafiabad Playing Field, which is already designated as a spot for holding political functionings during elections.

J&K Police

Police issued an order to reschedule political activities

SSP Sopore on May 8 issued an order to the additional district magistrate, outlining the rescheduling of various political activities in the area.

The order specified the postponement of a car rally from May 9 to May 18, and the rescheduling of a political rally in Rafiabad from May 10 to May 18. The Opposition National Conference is asked to reschedule the rally of Omar Abdullah, which was earlier scheduled to be held in Behrampora on May 12.

Most of these programmes would be addressed by Omar Abdullah, who is the party candidate for the Baramulla Lok Sabha seat.

Sopore falls within the Baramulla Lok Sabha constituency that will go to polls on May 20 in the fifth phase of the seven-phase parliamentary polls. Omar Abdullah's direct fighting is against Peoples' Conference chief Sajad Lone.

The order also mentioned the cancellation of a People's Conference rally in Rafiabad, to be addressed by local party workers.

NC media cell

 NC approaches Election Commission of India

While campaigning for the Lok Sabha seat is scheduled to end at 5 pm on May 18, the NC approached the Election Commission to seek its intervention.

In a letter written to the Election Commission of India, Omar Abdullah termed the decision a biased and egregious attempt to surreptitiously disadvantage the National Conference.

"The NC had requested for permission to conduct various political rallies, meetings, and use of flags on vehicles throughout various locations in Baramulla which were duly approved. These were however rejected by S.P Sopore, demanding the party reschedule the same to other dates.", the letter reads.

"This denial of permissions is aimed at derailing the political campaign of the party and preventing the party from effectively carrying out its campaign," the letter further reads.