National Conference President Dr Farooq Abdullah on Saturday said the upcoming by-polls to the two Kashmir parliamentary constituencies are not just the battle of ballot but fight for survival of secularism, which is at peril in the wake of communal and divisive forces taking centre stage in the state polity.
“The outcome of the two parliamentary seats from Kashmir, should, therefore, send a terse message to the fascist forces, who are overtly and covertly trying to establish foothold through PDP”, Dr Abdullah cautioned while addressing party workers and functionaries at Budgam this afternoon .
Dr Abdullah said that these crucial elections are going to prove waterloo for the opportunistic alliance headed by PDP.
He said the victory of National Conference-Congress candidates from Srinagar and Islamabad parliamentary constituencies has to be massive to halt the tentacles of communal forces. He said the minorities in India were living under perpetual fear and uncertainty and if the divisive forces are not stopped, the day is not far when the situation in the Valley will become grimmer. “Kashmir has undergone a traumatic phase and an onerous responsibility is cast upon all of us to reclaim our dignity and honour”, he said while dwelling upon the atrocities inflicted to people, especially last year.
The National Conference chief squarely blamed the PDP for facilitating BJP’s growth in Jammu and Kashmir that has unfolded a big challenge for the people. “For loaves of power, the PDP betrayed the mandate by hobnobbing with the RSS after seeking votes against them in the first instance”, he said while referring to PDP’s anti-BJP campaign carried out in 2014. He said the people of Kashmir got swayed by the falsehood and drama enacted by the PDP for power and exuded confidence that the same people will show anti-Kashmiri forces their right place. He cautioned against money-power being used by the PDP and hoped that the people will remain steadfast in weeding out communal and opportunistic elements from Kashmir.
Working President National Conference Omar Abdullah, while addressing the rally, asked people to realize the danger of fascism hovering over the State and get united to defeat it with full might. He said the magnitude of danger is so alarming that the leaders like Mr Tariq Hamid Karra and Aga Mohsin, who stood against National Conference in the 2014 elections, were now sharing the same platform with the party to foil the advance of RSS due to PDP’s courtesy.
Omar Abdullah agreed that while the current elections involved larger issues, especially threat of communal forces, the mis-governance of the PDP-BJP government cannot be kept under the carpet. “What has happened to PDP’s lofty slogans about return of power projects and repealing of Armed Forces Special Powers Act”, he asked and said the insensitive dispensation does not have a single achievement to take credit for.
“The only ‘achievement’ the PDP can brag about is that the people were deprived of offering prayers in Jamia Masjid consecutively for 18 Friday”, he said, adding that this has not even happened during the reign of autocracy in the State.
In his passionate address, Tariq Hameed Karra spelt the circumstances that forced him to part ways with the PDP, which he denounced as importer of communal and anti-Muslim RSS and BJP into Kashmir. He dwelt in length upon the persecution of minorities across the country after the emergence of the BJP and said this has unfolded a big challenge for the secular forces.
Karra referred to his desperate counseling to Mufti Mohammed Sayeed and Mehbooba Mufti about danger of aligning with the BJP and said that power turned out to be more lucrative and attractive for them than the people of Kashmir, who had reposed their faith in the PDP in mistaken belief.
Making a passionate appeal to cast their votes for secular forces, former minister and senior National Conference leader Abdul Rahim Rather said that support to PDP would be endorsement of the communal BJP agenda.
Referring to hoisting of Yogi Adityanath, an ardent anti-Muslim RSS Pracharak, as BJP’s star face in UP, Rather said this exposes the larger and nefarious agenda of the Sangh Parivar to carry forward Hindutava menacingly ahead of the 2019 general elections to Lok Sabha. “These developments have potential of causing huge harassment to minorities across the country”, he added.