Srinagar, Sep 21: Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Thursday emphasised Jammu and Kashmir's historical affiliation with what he termed ‘Gandhi's India’. He made a clear distinction between this vision and the one advocated by the BJP, RSS, and Sangh Parivar.
Addressing workers in Handwara, Abdullah underlined that the people of Jammu and Kashmir had willingly chosen to merge with a secular India. He contended that recent decisions made by the BJP, especially the revocation of Article 370, were aimed at undermining the influence of his party, the National Conference (NC).
The former chief minister highlighted the significant turnout at NC's public gatherings, suggesting the party's growing strength with each passing day. He lamented the current state of the media, alleging that it is constrained from presenting the truth. Abdullah claimed that while his administration was in power, the majority of newspaper pages were dedicated to opposing them. "However, today, the media predominantly praises the Lieutenant Governor," he said.
"There are two types of parties in J&K one which BJP wants to end and one through which it gains support. Kupwara and Srinagar are den of NC and delimitation in both districts was aimed to weaken the NC,” he said.
He noted a significant change in electoral boundaries, such as Handwara being excluded from one assembly segment and incorporated into another, potentially affecting voting margins.
The NC vice president also accused the BJP of attempting to protect regional political parties aligned with them, even at the expense of stopping NC programmes. He reflected on the sacrifices made by NC members, including workers, MLAs, and Ministers, in the region.
Taking a dig at People's Conference chief Sajad Lone, Abdullah questioned the former alliance and suggested it may have been driven by personal motives, acknowledging the mistake of accommodating him within the party.
Amid prevailing concerns in both divisions, including issues related to digital and smart meters, Abdullah assured the public that the NC remains committed to honesty and avoiding false promises. He expressed hope about the Supreme Court's forthcoming verdict on Article 370, citing the diligent representation of top lawyers and their efforts to support their argument. Omar hoped the decision would favour the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
Meanwhile, according to a statement issued by NC, Omar Abdullah said, “The situation in Jammu and Kashmir is different now; people are unhappy and disappointed in every region, youth are angry, chaos is everywhere, inflation is touching new heights. On the other hand, the LG claims that 80 percent people are happy with him and they do not want assembly elections to be held.”
Expressing serious concern over the plight of horticulturists, he said, “It is now known what compelled the Central government to remove the tax on American apples and walnuts. The Prime Minister wanted to invite the American President as a special guest on the 26th January ceremony. They made sure that apples, walnuts and dry fruits will come from America while our own apples, walnuts and dry fruits will rot in the markets.”