National Conference leader Omar Abdullah on Tuesday said the BJP-led central government was able to abrogate Article 370 after his party was rendered weak after the 2014 elections with PDP founder Mufti Mohammad Syed declining his offer of unconditional support and stitching an alliance with those who do not have “good intentions” towards Jammu and Kashmir.
Omar asked the people to support the National Conference and make it further strong to help “reverse the changes which were forced on the people of Jammu and Kashmir” on August 5, 2019 with the abrogation of the Article 370 and bifurcation of the erstwhile state into two union territories.
In a reference to Lt Governor Manoj Sinha’s statement that his administration is working for the welfare of all the people of the union territory, and not just a select few, Omar said, “I do not see it happening. What we see is that this government is only for the benefit of BJP and a few leaders of some Kashmir-based parties.”
Addressing a public meeting at Chatroo in Inderwal assembly constituency of Kishtwar district, he said, “We have started a fight for Jammu and Kashmir and its people following the changes which were forced on us – the changes which were possible because the National Conference was weak. If we have not lost the (assembly) seats in 2014 elections and formed the government, neither would they have removed Article 370 or Article 35A nor taken away land transferred to the people under Roshni Act or given jobs and contractors to outsiders.”
He said the BJP-led central government took advantage of the “weak position” of the NC and snatched what was given to the people of J&K by the Constitution.
“I had foreseen such a situation and went to Mufti sahib to extend unconditional outside support for forming the government. I told him that the path he is going to treat (by forming the government with BJP) will be a disaster for J&K and we will not be able to save ourselves,” he said, adding “I told him that I have no greed for power as I have just completed six years as chief minister and desist from bringing those to power who do not have good intentions for J&K.”
Mufti had his compulsions and took a decision, he said and referred to a famous couplet ‘(ye jabr bhi dekha hai, taarikh ki nazron ne), lamhon ne khata ki thi, sadiyon ne saza payi’ (much injustice has been seen by the eyes of history/when for a mistake made by a moment, centuries were punished). “We do not know how long we have to suffer for that decision,” Omar said.
Targeting the Centre, he said all its claims that the revocation of the Article 370 will bring peace, development, investment, jobs and end militancy have proved false. “Just tell me one thing which you have achieved in the past nearly two and a half years,” he asked and said “we get tired of highlighting the developmental works done by us till 2018 but they were unable carry forward the development and even failed to depute officers to new blocks, tehsils, sub-divisions created by our government to bring governance closer to the public.”
Accepting failure of the party leadership to win Inderwal assembly constituency since 2002, Omar promised a local candidate for the seat in the upcoming elections. “Though this is not the election time and I have come to assure you that whenever the elections are declared – whether in 2022, 23 or 24 – we will give preference to the local candidate and this time there will be no candidate who will be dropped by helicopter or parachute,” he said.