Jammu and Kashmir National Conference on Wednesday announced its candidate for Lok Sabha from Jammu-Poonch constituency.The announcement was made by the party President Dr Farooq Abdullah soon after former Chief Secretary, ex-Congress minister and President Dharmarth Trust B. R. Kundal joined National Conference at a function here this morning.Dr Abdullah said Kundal will be the National Conference candidate for Jammu-Poonch Lok Sabha Constituency and exuded confidence that given his vast and varied experience as a top bureaucrat, he will enjoy massive support of the people in the upcoming polls. He described Kundal a versatile administrator and said that having served in all the three regions, he has left an indelible mark of public service.“This spirit will stand him in good stead in his new role in public life”, Dr Abdullah said, adding that his joining will not only strengthen further the party at grass roots level but also enthuse all those working for steering the state to peace and normalcy.“The State is passing through a most difficult phase due to political instability and governance deficit in recent years and therefore the people are looking towards us with hope”, the National Conference President said, adding that the party will strive to assuage their political aspirations and instill much needed sense of security.He exhorted the cadre to close their ranks and gear up for meeting challenges faced to the State and said efforts will have to be redoubled to restore peace. He said history stands testimony how National Conference withstood challenges by offering numerous sacrifices to uphold the dignity of the people. He said the party has a track record of serving people of all the three regions, irrespective cast, creed and religion, adding this spirit is needed to be sustained and promoted by weathering all odds unitedly.
He said focused attention is needed to fullfil the deep yearning of people to live dignified and peaceful life. He reiterated that National Conference is committed to uplift the conditions of poor and weaker segments of society.Dr Abdullah also urged the workers, who he said were visible in every nook and corner of the state, to work for strengthening the bonds of amity and brotherhood, which has been political philosophy of National Conference. He said elements inimical to unity and brotherhood will have to be isolated.Reposing his faith in the policies and programmes of National Conference, B R Kundal said that he will carry forward this mission with sincerity of purpose. He expressed his gratitude to the leadership for reposing faith in him and said he will try to meet their expectations.Kundal said he is privileged to have worked with the National Conference leadership during the times it governed the state and added that he has learned a lot by the wisdom, experience and sagacity of its ministers from time to time. He said his service in all the three regions has all along been inspiring for him to work with renewed vigour and dedication.Provincial President Devender Singh Rana welcomed Kundal in the party-fold and dwelt upon his administrative and political career.Senior leaders, former MPs, former ministers, top functionaries and former legislators were present on the occasion, who included Additional General Secretary Dr Sheikh Mustafa Kamaal, Mohammed Shafi Uri, Abdul Rahim Rather, Mian Altaf Ahmed, Ajay Kumar Sadhotra, Surjeet Singh Slathia. Abdul Gani Malik, Mushtaq Ahmed Shah Bukhari and Sajjad Kichloo.The senior leaders profusely garlanded B. R Kundal and greeting him on joining National Conference.Having sought premature retirement as Chief Secretary, B R Kundal remained a minister and Congress MLC. He is currently President of Jammu and Kashmir Dharmarth Trust.(VMS)