Jammu & Kashmir National Conference
|Jammu and Kashmir National Conference|
|Chairperson||Farooq Abdullah (1981–2002 & 2009-till present)|
|Founded||June 11, 1939|
|Headquarters||Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India|
Re-unification of Kashmir
|Seats in Lok Sabha|
|Seats in Rajya Sabha|
|Seats in Legislative Assembly|
|Politics of India
The Jammu & Kashmir National Conference is a State political party in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. Led at the time of Indian independence in 1947 by Sheikh Abdullah, it dominated electoral politics in the state for many decades. It has been led subsequently by the Sheikh's son Farooq Abdullah (1981–2002) and his son Omar Abdullah (2002–2009). Farooq Abdullah was again made the President of the party in 2009.
The pre-independence period
In October 1932, Sheikh Abdullah founded the All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference. On 11 June 1939 it was renamed as the All Jammu and Kashmir National Conference. The National Conference was affiliated to the All India States Peoples Conference. Sheikh Abdullah was elected its president in 1947. In 1946, the National Conference launched an intensive agitation against the state government. It was directed against the Maharaja. The slogan of the agitation was "Quit Kashmir".
The post-independence period
In the elections held in September 1951, National Conference won all 75 seats of the Constituent assembly of Jammu and Kashmir. Sheikh Abdullah remained the prime minister until his dismissal in August 1953 on the grounds of conspiracy against the state of India. Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad became the Prime minister of the state and Sheikh Abdullah was arrested on 9 August 1953.
In 1965 the National Conference merged with the Indian National Congress and became the Jammu and Kashmir branch of the Congress Party. Sheikh Abdullah was again arrested in 1965 until 1968 for conspiracy against the state. Sheikh Abdullah's splinter Plebiscite Front faction later appropriated the name of the original party when Abdullah was allowed to return to power in February 1975 after striking a deal with the central government. In 1977, National Conference led by him won the state assembly elections, and Sheikh Abdullah became the chief minister. His son Farooq Abdullah succeeded him as the Chief Minister on his death on 8 September 1982. In June 1983 elections, the JKNC led by Farooq Abdullah again won a comfortable majority. In July 1984 Farooq's brother-in-law Ghulam Mohammad Shah split the party. Acting on the behest of the central government, the Governor dismissed Farooq as a Chief Minister and installed Ghulam Mohammad Shah in his place. His government was dismissed in March 1986 and President's rule was imposed. In 1987 contested state assembly elections, the JKNC, which formed an alliance with the Congress Party, was claimed to have won the majority and Farooq Abdullah again became the Chief Minister and under Abdullah's watch, an insurgency against the State government and India began. Abdullah was dismissed again in 1990 by the Union Government and President's rule was imposed in the state. In 1991 the state elections were cancelled due to a revolt by the people. In Jammu and Kashmir state assembly elections in 1996, the National Conference led by Abdullah was awarded the election yet again winning 57 seats out of a total 87. This election like its predecessors has been deemed to be rigged and Abdullah stepped down in 2000. His son, Omar Abdullah then took up the reins of power in J&K. But in 2002 state assembly elections, the National Conference won only 28 seats, with the PDP emerging in the Kashmir Valley as a contender for power. In the December 2008 state assembly elections, no single party was able to get the majority. The JKNC led by Farooq's son Omar Abdullah emerged as a single largest party, winning 28 seats. After the elections, on 30 December 2008 the JKNC formed an alliance with the Congress Party which had won 17 seats. Omar Abdullah became the Chief Minister of this coalition government on 5 January 2009. He is the current leader of the party and the state government. During this period the National Conference has experienced increasing controversies over the Accession of Kashmir to India, the mass protests against the government in 2010 when over 70 youth (some as young as 12) were massacred by state paramilitary forces in cold blood and the torture scandal exposed by the Wikileaks revelations which were aired on Channel 4.
- Chandra, Bipan & others (2000). India after Independence 1947–2000, New Delhi:Penguin Books, ISBN 0-14-027825-7, pp.320–2
- Nagi, Saroj (December 30, 2008). "Omar Abdullah to be next chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 2009-01-02.
- "Omar Abdullah takes oath as Chief Minister of J&K". The Hindu. January 5, 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-05.
- "Kashmir's Torture Trail". Channel 4. 11 July 2012. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
- Jammu & Kashmir National Conference Party Website
- Chowdhary, Rekha. "Electoral Politics in the Context of Separatism and Political Divergence: An Analysis of 2009 Parliamentary elections in Jammu & Kashmir". South Asia Multidisciplinary Academic Journal, 3, 2009.