Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and National Conference Working President Omar Abdullah on Friday declared that the PDP-BJP coalition has lost peoples’ mandate due to its vision less policies, mis-governance of over nine months and leadership deficit, saying they both are destined to loose their deposits in the event of by-polls. “If elections were held now, National Conference will form the government on its own, without crutches of others”, Abdullah said amid huge applause at a public rally in Ramban on Srinagar- Jammu National Highway. The former Chief Minister is on a five-day visit to the Chenab Valley districts of Ramban, Doda and Kishtwar. He pooh-poohed the hype being created by the PDP-BJP combine over one and all issues and described the present dispensation as a directionless and driver less vehicle which is clueless about its destination. In this context, he referred to the open feelers being sent by the Chief Minister about change of guard. “We have nothing with the internal affairs of the coalition government, or whether it is led by Mufti Mohammed Sayeed or Mehbooba Mufti, but the key point is that the state and the people are suffering”, he said, adding that uncertainty over leadership has demoralized the administration which is in real dilemma as to who is in actual command. On the one side Mufti Sayeed is seen working as the Chief Minister in Jammu and on the other Mehbooba Mufti is reviewing the government functioning in Srinagar as de-facto chief executive. The tale-piece of this entire drama is that the BJP is refusing to buy the idea of Mehbooba Mufti taking over as the Chief Minister, covertly questioning as to who has granted such permission to the PDP. In lighter vein, Abdullah wondered over the effectiveness of Mufti Sayeed as Chief Minister while citing his long speech during the Prime Ministers’ Srinagar rally, encompassing state, national and international politics. “The anti-climax of his political discourse was the virtual snub hurled by Narendra Modi, who minced no words in saying that he needed no advice on Kashmir”, Abdullah said and regretting over the belittling of the institution of a Chief Minister. Referring to the high spate criticism unleashed by the PDP against National Conference-Congress government led by him, the former Chief Minister wanted to know what Mufti Syed led government has done during the past over nine months except owning the projects taken up or completed during his six-year tenure. He said he was feeling a sense of pride and satisfaction when the Prime Minister was brought to inaugurate the projects completed during the six-years of his government. “This is the acknowledgement of my government’s performance and answer to PDP’s unfounded criticism”, he added. He said the commissioning of 900-MW Baghliar Project stands testimony of the efforts being made by the National Conference led government to usher the state to progress and development. On the contrary, he said, the role of the PDP has all along been negative. In this context he made a mention of the Kishtwar project, abandoned by the present dispensation, saying this had potential of generating economical energy. “Abandonment of this project depicts the PDP’s mindset which did the same to 1200-MW Sawalakote Project in 2003 that deprived Jammu and Kashmir of much needed power”, he regretted. Abdullah spelled out the major initiatives like expansion of Jammu-Srinagar National Highway, which he said, his government succeeded in getting approved by the then UPA Government. He said similar other initiatives were set in motion to herald a new era of development in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh regions. Giving an overview of the political scenario, National Conference Working President said though his party suffered a setback during 2014 Assembly elections yet it remains a grass-root mass movement which identifies itself as a strong bastion of the people irrespective of caste, creed or color. He said National Conference has never believed in vote bank politics or to bring various religions and regions face to face for strengthening its political constituency. “We do not believe in divisive politics, which became very clear when Sher-e-Kashmir Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah converted Muslim Conference into National Conference”, he said adding that while enrolling new members the party asks about the personal details of the incumbent but not his region or religion. He said being in the government or outside it does not matter at all for the National Conference which is dedicated to social harmony, peace and well being of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. He said NC would have been in the government but it opted out simply because, “we found BJP as mismatch ideologically and we are proven right by the inherent contradictions between the two coalition partners now”. Omar Abdullah exhorted the people to strengthen National Conference at the grass roots level so that it stands like a rock against all those working at cross purposes. “We want the state to flourish as a single entity where opportunities are available to all the three regions and people belonging to various faiths”, he added. He also dwelt on the issues like unemployment, development, lack of facilities to people, scarcity of rations at CAPD stores. He regretted over abandoning SKEWPY just because it carried Sher-e-Kashmir prefix. He pitched for employment of the local skilled and unskilled workforce in the projects undertaken by the Centre and pleaded for making the local contractors as stakeholders in the development process. Those who spoke on the occasion included Provincial President Devender Singh Rana, former minister Ajay Kumar Sadhotra, State Vice President Rattan Lal Gupta, former MP Sheikh Abdul Rehman, Youth National Conference Provincial President Ajaz Jan, former legislators Chaman Lal and Brij Mohan Sharma besides Sajjad Shaheen and Dr Shamshad Shaan.
2015 Kashmir Despatch