National Conference has said that BJP President Amit Shah’s remarks in Jammu were unsurprising as the party was trying to polarize the State for short-term electoral interests despite the dangers that are associated with such type of politics, as was last witnessed in 2008.
“We have witnessed numerous such challenges since 1947 and have always persisted and always emerged victorious – every single time. The forces asking for the revocation of Article 370 are as old as the history of Article 370 and the people of J&K have complete, unflinching trust in National Conference’s commitment and capability to thwart such assaults on the State and its political aspirations and regional character. Amit Shah should know that NC is J&K and J&K is NC. NC runs in the blood of our people and has rendered thousands of sacrifices to uphold the dignity and political aspirations of our people. The glorious history of National Conference is intertwined with the glorious history of J&K’s struggle for political empowerment and dignity. The history of our party compliments the history of our State and its brave people and the history of our State compliments the history of National Conference. BJP should have no doubt about this”, NC Spokesperson said.
Stating that Omar Abdullah was the duly elected, popular leader of the people of Jammu & Kashmir and the Chief Minister of the State, the NC Spokesperson said Amit Shah’s provocative and self-righteous comments about an elected premiere of a State was an assault on the sanctity of democracy and democratic institutions. “Both Omar Abdullah and his government have been empowered by the courageous people of this State to steer them towards reconciliation, prosperity and dignity. Their mandate is sacrosanct and their dignity to us is supreme. We will not allow anyone to trample on the dignity of our people”, the NC Spokesperson said.
“BJP’s posturing on so-called ‘dynastic politics’ is full of hypocrisy. Should one remind the BJP President of how the BJP Prime Ministerial candidate mocked others over ‘dynastic politics’ during a rally in Chattisgarh by claiming that had Raman Singh, the BJP Chief Minister, been a Congress politician, his son would have received a party ticket. Weeks later Raman Singh’s son, Abhishek, indeed got a party ticket and that too from the same BJP that pontificates on ‘dynastic politics’.
There are countless such examples within BJP and NDA and some of the examples are Jayant Sinha (Son of Jaswant Sinha), Anurag Thakur (Son of Prem Kumar Dhumal), Dushyant Singh (Son of Vasundhra Raje), Poonam Mahajan (Daughter of Late Pramod Mahajan), Parvesh Verma (Son of Sahib Singh Verma), Rajbir Singh (Son of Kalyan Singh) and Chirag Paswan (Son of Ram Vilas Paswan) besides many other sons, daughters and spouses of present and former BJP Chief Ministers, Cabinet Ministers and Senior BJP leaders” the NC Spokesperson said.
The NC Spokesperson said that National Conference epitomized internal democracy and was not remote-controlled from a Nagpur-esque control tower by political bosses as is the case with BJP. “Omar Abdullah was entrusted with the reins of National Conference by our delegates, block committees and grassroots workers and he has proved his mettle as our most able and our tallest leader. Mandates in National Conference are not given for instance by remote-control bosses and patrons of a ‘parent organization’ but are given to those who are nominated and selected by the grassroots workers – workers who form our backbone and define our policies and plans of action. I would advise that . Shah invests a few days in acquainting himself with the history of Jammu and Kashmir and also the strength, courage and established virtues of a political movement called J&K National Conference”, the NC Spokesperson added.
The NC Spokesperson further said that the issue of ceasefire violations between India and Pakistan was a domain of the Central Government and the Defence Ministry and the State Government had repeatedly voiced its concern for those citizens of J&K who live along the Line of Control and the International Border and will continue to do so. “We don’t need lessons in being concerned about our own people – people who have elected us and people we are bound to serve and protect. We have always stood for the interests and safety of our people and we will continue to do so. This is a blatant attempt to politicize the sufferings of the people whose lives are affected by ceasefire violations on a day-to-day basis. Rather than making this a political issue, BJP should ensure that talks with Pakistan are effective and sustained so that people on both sides of the Line of Control and International Border get a respite from such disruption of their lives,” Spokesperson said while imploring that Indo-Pak talks should be resumed without any more delay.
“Calling off the Foreign Secretary level talks between India and Pakistan on the pretext of the meeting between Hurriyat leaders and Pakistani diplomats was an unfortunate, knee-jerk reaction perhaps to appease some hyperbolic, jingoist elements in politics and the media. These meetings have been happening in the past as well and have taken place in the tenures of Narsimha Rao, I. K. Gujaral, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh. Certainly the meeting of Hurriyat leaders with the Pakistani High Commissioner couldn’t possibly have been a bigger irritant to New Delhi than incidents of ceasefire violations along the Line of Control and International Border. This was not a justified reason to call the talks off and we advocate and reiterate that talks be resumed in an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect between New Delhi and Islamabad at the earliest possible instance for the greater common good of not only the people of Jammu & Kashmir but also the peoples of India and Pakistan at large”, Spokesperson added.