SRINAGAR: Ruling out any possibility of offering support to the Peoples Democratic Party for government formation, former chief minister Omar Abdullah said his party, National Conference, is ready for fresh elections in Jammu and Kashmir.

"Our offer (to PDP) after 2014 assembly polls was turned down. That time, Mufti (Mohammad Sayeed) saheb did not wait for even a minute to turn down our offer. Now there is no question of making a fresh offer because they have paved way for RSS's entry into state," Abdullah said while addressing a youth convention in Srinagar.

"RSS has opened offices in Srinagar now. They are openly brandishing weapons in their marches in Jammu. Houses of our Gujjar brothers are being burnt and then police open fire on them. In such a situation, what is the meaning of making an offer to PDP," he said.

Amid deepening political crisis in the state, Omar Abdullah said if the PDP and the BJP, which are holding backchannel talks, do not form a government, his party will opt for fresh elections. "We want to ask PDP and BJP how much more we will have to wait for government formation? Either you form a government or, if you are not ready, please inform the Governor so that he dissolves the assembly and we get ready for fresh elections," he said.

The state, where PDP was in an alliance with BJP before the demise of Mufti on January 7 at AIIMS, is presently under Governor's rule. Abdullah said the political situation is "detrimental" to the state and the "political uncertainty" is tantamount to playing with danger. "Both these parties should rise above their self interests and think about the state," he said.

Expressing concern over the encounter in south Kashmir where three young militants, all locals, were killed on Thursday, Abdullah said there is a need to take political measures to address the alienation among the youths of Kashmir.

"The situation which should be dealt politically is being dealt with administratively as there is a political vacuum. Until an elected government and elected representatives try to deal with such a situation, I feel the atmosphere in south Kashmir will get worse," he said.

Reacting to the stir at Jawaharlal Nehru University, the National Conference working president said Kashmiri youths are apprehensive of moving out of the state following the crackdown on students in the national capital.

“Kashmiri youth outside the state are being openly profiled and hounded. During our tenure, we opened avenues of employment for our youth outside the state through landmark schemes. Today our youngsters are terrified at the very prospects of venturing outside the state after the JNU issue was used as a pretext to harass our youth,” he said.

(Photograph from Greater Kashmir)