‘Revered militants when my constituency witnessed Ikhwan Raj’
National Conference (NC) candidate for north Kashmir’s Baramulla-Kupwara parliamentary constituency Sunday said Congress was more dangerous than the rightwing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The statement comes as a surprise considering that the NC and Congress have entered into a pre-poll alliance for the Lok Sabha polls in the State.
Addressing a function of the party at Bandipora, Lone lauded the contribution of former Prime Minister of Jammu Kashmir and NC founder Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah saying that NC had ideas and ideals while other political parties like Peoples Democratic Party and Congress were a creation of the “Indian agencies”.
He said PDP had not fielded two candidates on the two seats of Jammu region to help BJP.
Lone also contradicted NC President and three-time chief minister Farooq Abdullah’s statement that there would be a “friendly contest” between NC and Congress on south and north Kashmir seats.
Terming NC President’s remarks as “political”, Lone said there would be “no such contest” on the ground.
“Congress is more dangerous than BJP and we have a tough contest with them than BJP,” he said.
Lone also played the “militant card” to lure voters of north Kashmir’s Bandipora district.
He said militants were “most revered” to him when his assembly constituency Sonawari witnessed the “Ikhwan Raj”.
“I was asked by the party leadership to contest against the notorious renegade Kukka Parry and I lost but entire Ikhwan was buried within six years,” Lone said.
Mentioning the name of the then local Hizb-ul-Mujahideen Commander Farooq Baba, Lone said many people with different tags other than Ikhwanis who used to visit his constituency were revered.
“We always respect them and feed them as they were fighting for the honour and respect of Kashmiri people,” he said.
Lone said in 1996 former IGP Muneer Khan (then ASP) and an Army’s Major General coerced people to vote by using gun.
“Today anyone can come and compete with us and nobody will force anyone to vote and nobody will snatch your votes by using gun,” he said.
Condemning the government’s action on Jamaat-e-Islami, the veteran NC leader said such actions could never deter the Jamaat cadres.
“Jaamat can never be defeated, government’s action on Jamaat is a futile exercise, Sheikh Abdullah was jailed for decades but they achieved nothing and nothing will happen by putting Jammat cadres in jail,” he said.
Lone also condemned the killing of 12-year-old Aatif during a gunfight in Hajin.