Jammu and Kashmir National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah on Wednesday said that the low voter turnout in Anantnag and Bijbehara is a lesson for PDP and Mehbooba Mufti.
He asserted that the ensuing elections are significant since it provides the people of the state an opportunity to reveal how passionately they feel about their identity including Art370, Art 35-A.
Addressing two separate public meets at Chawalgam and Homeshalibug, Kulgam party vice president said that the threats of BJP-RSS to abrogate Art 370, Art 35A will be defeated as the people of the state will not allow them to succeed in their nefarious designs. “ Today state is facing an assault on its special status from all sides, however, all the machinations of the forces as are inimical to our status will fall flat if the people of our state show resoluteness in protecting the identity and integrity of our state. This time people across the state have taken it upon themselves to trounce the efforts as are hell-bent to destroy the special constitutional status of the state,” he said adding, “Today’s elections is not about choosing MLA’s, today our state is fraught with a challenging situation. The need of the hour is to send a representative to Parliament who can fight for the interests of the state, the situation that the state is facing today demands of having a credible voice at Delhi who can work tireless both within and outside parliament for the protection of Art 370, Art 35-A. Seeing the scope of work and the challenges we are facing, we considerately fielded Retired Justice Hasnain Sb from Anantnag constituency. He is known for his pronounced judgments on Art 370, Art 35 A. He boasts the necessary political and legal acumen to deal with the situation.”
While highlighting the importance of Art 370, Art 35 A, Omar said, “It is needless to say how important Art 370, Art 35-A is for the state and its people. Today the people of our state are masters of its own land. They work on their land and derive their sustenance from it. God forbid, if these articles are done away with, the consequences that will follow shall be beyond our comprehension. The people of the state will stop to cleave to a respectable denomination which Sher- e- Kashmir bestowed upon them through famous land to tiller reforms and other people-friendly measures. Our kids would not be able to derive various scholarships from the government. The youth of our state will cease to be the sole beneficiary of jobs in government sector. Keeping in mind the far-reaching consequences of abrogation of our status, we deemed it fit to have Hasnain Masoodi represent us in parliament from Anantnag.”
While flaying Mebooba Mufti for betraying, berating and squandering the trust of people. “The amount of disgruntlement and disillusionment of the people against Mehbooba can be gauged from the fact that a place from where she got a lead of 12,000 votes in 2016 elections only saw total 956 people cast their ballot. Even her own brother and a sitting MLC didn’t cast his vote in her favor. If her own brother didn’t repose his faith in her, how can others,” he said.
While censuring PDP and Mufti’s on deceiving people on the promises it made while canvassing for elections in 2014, he said, “They were not able to keep any of their promises. People didn’t see any jobs. The promise of lessening the footprint of security forces also turned out to be a sham. On the contrary, she shamelessly presided over a plethora of miseries that people of Kashmir especially the people of south Kashmir had to go through,” he said adding, “She took votes from you on the pretext of keeping out but she eventually clubbed with them. The much-touted AOA also turned out to be a damp squib.”
He said that the promises made by Mufti’s and PDP on the protection of our special status were big lies. “They were the one who implemented SARFAESI, NFSA, and GST in the state. They were the one who brought NIA to state. They failed to deliver on every promise they made in the run-up for elections in 2014. We didn’t see them repeal AFSPA; on the contrary, they slashed PSA on thousands of our youngsters, most of which are still languishing in jails. She failed miserably on every matrix; she failed to protect the state’s status, she failed to provide jobs and above all, she pushed the state into chaos and conflict. It was south Kashmir that bore the brunt of her imprudent policies. They are the ones who provided a platform to BJP-RSS in the state.”
Omar while censuring Mehbooba Mufti forgiving platform to the BJP-RSS, said, “Today we see her shedding tears on the miseries. People would have appreciated if she would have shed her tears when scores of our youth were devoured upon in her stint as chief minister. The tears we see in her eyes are not out of remorse neither, on the contrary, these tears are political tears, and she is craftily shedding to gain the lost ground. However, people have made it a point of not falling prey to her shenanigans and slyness. People remember how she had bolted her mouth in 2016. We didn’t see her raise qualms over the problems faced by people when she was enjoying power with the BJP, her tears emerged only after when BJP withdrew the support.”
Ridiculing PDP’s undertaking of protecting Art 370, Art 35 A, Omar said, “Today we see Mehbooba pledging to protect the state’s special status given the fact that she was the one who did much damage to it during her stint as chief minister. We saw NFSA, SARFAESI and GST being implemented in the state in her tenure. Today our people are hankering for basic edibles including sugar, who is responsible for it? Every commodity has become dearer; every commodity is subject to heavy taxations, who is responsible for it? Who is responsible for breaking the back of small and marginal artisans, hoteliers, and other traders? We didn’t? It was she who took many cataclysmic decisions when she was in power. Every single sector of our state is ailing today be it tourism, horticulture and handicrafts. People still remember how she mocked the miseries of families who lost their kids in 2016 with her ‘milk and toffee’ comments. It was she who barefacedly said that the guns of security persons are not for display but action.”
Omar said that he is not given to double speaking, and when in power he had publically told the then PM Manmohan Singh that the issue of J&K is political in nature and can only be solved politically. “Once the new government takes the reins of power in centre we will impress upon them that the issue of J&K can only be solved through talks. We will work for securing our children a secure life. We will work for the restoration of autonomy,” he said.
Among others retired justice Hasnain Masoodi, Nasir Aslam Wani, Basharat Bukhari, Abdul Majeed Bhat Larmi, political advisor to vice president Tanvir Sadiq, Dr Bashir Ahmad Veeri, provincial spokesperson and in-charge constituency Kulgam Imran Nabi Dar, Safdar Khan, Dr Mohammad Shafi, Advocate Abdul Rahman Tantray and Salam Ud Din Bajad also addressed the public and urged the people to rally around the flag of National conference.