Srinagar: Former National spokesperson of ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Sameer Kaul, on Saturday joined National Conference. He accused PDP of betraying the mandate and misappropriated the political space of Kashmir.
Dr Koul is a renowned oncologist and had joined PDP early 2012. He was a close relationship with PDP founder Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, to whom, he submitted his resignation after PDP-BJP government took over.
“I always believed NC to be the main political force, rather a movement in Kashmir, that had acceptance in all the three regions and had clear secular credentials,” Dr Koul told Kashmir Life. “It was my personal relationship with Mufti Mohammad Sayeed that led me to PDP. He exercised a great influence on me.”
Asked why he resigned from PDP, Dr Koul said the “basic difference erupted when I was asked to fight non secular forces on media but behind my back, they had allied with the same forces.”
“On the eve of the two parties forming the government, I voiced my opinion that was an unholy alliance, it was against the mandate, was completely unethical, but Mufti Sahab disagreed,” Dr Koul said.
Dr Koul alleged that the PDP misappropriated the political space which will have long term consequences. “I was upset they encroached upon the one-fourth of political space that was deliberately left for Hurriyat,” Koul said. “This space was permitted the balance space for other political forces to work and do a lot of development. They completely misappropriated it.
“They infiltrated this space and stole their agenda,” Koul said. “If you see minutely the Agenda of Alliance mostly comprises the agenda that does not belong to PDP.”
Besides, Koul alleged that the PDP “literally sold the minorities” to the BJP. “Pandits and Sikhs are the part of multi-racial and multi cultural state but this party sold their interests to BJP,” Dr Koul alleged. “I always wanted Pandits and Sikhs to maintain their regional identity, but they were sold in such a way that they lost their political identity and BJP was happy over it.”
Koul said these three issues were fundamental to his resignation though after demise of Mufti Sayeed, he said, there was some fire-fighting.
“This has been a great betrayal of people,” Dr Koul said. “By joining NC, I will try to convince Pandits that we must reinvent the era that had people like Jiya Lal Kilam, Saraf, P N Bazaz and P L Handoo in the front row of NC.”
Sources close to Dr Koul said he had resigned because some of the promises made by party leadership to him were not kept.
Meanwhile NC President Dr. Farooq Abdullah welcomed Dr Koul into the party in the presence of NC Provincial Presidents Nasir Aslam Wani, Devender Singh Rana and state spokesperson Junaid Azim Mattu.
While welcoming Dr. Koul to NC, Dr Abdullah said the joining of Dr. Sameer Kaul will further strengthen the party’s resolve to work for the dignified return of the Kashmir Pandits as also strengthen the age-old inter-community bonds of amity and brotherhood between the Kashmir Pandit and Muslim communities.
Dr Abdullah expressed hope that Dr Koul would work tirelessly to uphold the secular ideals of the party and work towards isolating communal and divisive forces who are working overtime to create fissures in the secular fabric of the state.
Dr. Koul assured Dr Abdullah that under the leadership of Omar Abdullah he will continue to strive to serve the people of the state in upholding their political rights, dignity and honour keeping in mind the true aspirations of the people of the state and the principles of Kashmiriyat.
Senior Party leaders have welcomed Dr. Sameer Koul into the party and wished him the best for his endeavours to serve the party and the people of the State.