Riyaz Ul Khaliq
The outgoing chief minister Omar Abdullah Monday out-rightly denied entering in any coalition with BJP saying the Hindutva party’s Kashmir stand isn’t acceptable to his party.
“BJP was silent on Article 370 during elections,” Omar said. “But that doesn’t mean it has completely dissociated itself from the issue.”
Omar was addressing his last press conference as chief executive of Jammu and Kashmir in Srinagar’s Banquet hall. The working president of NC said it was matter of ‘immense pride and satisfaction’ for him to serve the people of Jammu and Kashmir in these last six years.
Pertinently, the ruling coalition of NC and Congress comes to an end with the declaration of assembly polls on Tuesday as the results are declared for the assembly polls.
Speaking about formation of new government, Omar said that it is inconceivable for a party like National Conference to join hands with BJP. “There has been issue like Article 370 on which BJP remained mum in elections but they did not omit it from their agenda. There are issues like Babri Masjid, Uniform Civil Code and forced conversion. Having such issues before hand, how can NC join BJP to form government in J&K,” Omar asked.
Omar said that there are no ‘lines of communication’ working between NC and any other party not to speak of BJP in particular.
When asked whether he regrets coalition with Congress, Omar said that there was no alternative in 2002 but to join Congress. “There is nothing like regret despite Ghulam Nabi Azad had launched a bitter personal campaign against me and my family.”
Commenting upon the NSA statement which came to fore today that ‘elections in Kashmir were strategic victory over Pakistan’, Omar said, “Elections are not plebiscite,” adding, “Separatists want you to interpret it like that.”
He said that elections in Kashmir are held to elect representatives who shall go in to assembly and then run a civilian government here.
“Elections were not between India and Pakistan but people voted for basic necessities.”
Replying to a union government statement that Jammu and Kashmir government failed to control the flood situation in September, Omar termed it ironic. “If we failed and Union government was prepared then where were they,” he asked.
“Where was NDRF, their boats? Why did Badami Bagh Cantonment lower portion submerge?” Omar ridiculed.
“I don’t think I created any blunders but yes there were some mistakes which are regrettable,” he said. “2010 summer agitation, Afzal Guru Hanging and September 2014 floods are three mistakes. And if Mufti Sayeed is not able to exploit and get maximum from it, then there is surely something wrong there.” “If I would have been at his place, I would have got 50+seats.”
Omar also said that the number of stone pelters in custody runs in double figures and their cases are being reviewed and are being released.
Giving his self assessment report card, tech savvy CM rated himself ‘between 6.5 and 7’.
Commenting upon the assembly results, Omar said that the exit polls are far different what it seems on ground. “There is a far difference between opinion polls and TV channels.”
He also termed his efforts not to revoke AFSPA as one of his regrets.