National Conference Working President and former Chief Minister of J&K Omar Abdullah on Sunday censured the PDP-BJP Government of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed for failing to address the political aspirations and the basic developmental needs of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, saying hypocrisy and broken promises had become the hallmarks of this Government’s failures within the very first year of its tenure. “Tall, stentorian promises of ‘Ache Din’ have amounted to ‘Ache Din’ for a chosen few in terms of their personal welfare while common people have been left to fend for themselves by a brazenly insensitive and callous dispensation”, Abdullah said while addressing a workers’ convention here this morning. Omar Abdullah questioned the political agenda of the two parties, saying lack of direction and political will have compounded the perception of political uncertainty in the State whereas the Government should have tried to provide a hope of inclusive development, reconciliation and peace. He ridiculed PDP’s now-abandoned motto “Goli Se Nahi Boli Se” and said the PDP-BJP Government rather than politically engaging with the separatist leadership with an aim to address the internal dimensions of the Kashmir Issue had chosen to tread a path of isolation, arrogance and confrontation – all contradicting the promises made in the PDP-BJP ‘Agenda of the Alliance’. “Mufti Sahab’s Government ordered an unprecedented crackdown on normal life and undertook hundreds of preventive arrests for organizing the Prime Minister’s political rally in Srinagar – where sadly the Prime Minister snubbed the Chief Minister and categorically asked him to mind his own business as his suggestions about the Kashmir Issue were not required – rendering the PDP and Mufti Sahab absolutely irrelevant viz-a-viz the larger political process”, the NC Working President said. While referring to the political and diplomatic stalemate between India and Pakistan in sorting out various issues and starting a comprehensive dialog process, Mr. Omar Abdullah said that the gap between New Delhi and Islamabad has widened to an extent where the two countries have to choose a neutral country like Sri Lanka to play cricket. “If we cannot have the bare minimum amount of trust and faith to participate in sporting events in each other’s countries, how can we address the larger and graver political issues of contention between the two countries? These political issues need to be resolved and cannot be expected to remain in the realm of a status-quo for perpetuity. The human costs of conflict between India and Pakistan are way too grave and serious for us to become comfortable in a status-quoist arrangement and approach. This would not only create an atmosphere of disillusionment with the democratic institutions but would also harm the hard-earned dividends of peace in the State”, Mr. Omar Abdullah further said. The former Chief Minister described PDP and BJP as two faces of the same coin and said his apprehensions about their clandestine understanding were proven right when they formed the coalition government after enacting an elaborate drama about their alleged South Pole versus North Pole ideological divergence during the assembly elections. “There is no South Pole or North Pole. Both PDP and BJP come from the same stock of opportunistic politics – there are no ideological compulsions to start with so how can there possibly be any ideological compromises? They have reneged on every single statement they made to garner votes from their respective constituencies and have surrendered all their respective political demands for the petty trappings of political power – which to them is the final aim of politics.” He wondered how BJP impetuously joined hands with PDP notwithstanding the fact that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had vowed to allegedly “free” Jammu and Kashmir from the rule of both National Conference and PDP. “However as soon as elections ended, they came together without any inhibition or reluctance and proved the allegations of their pre-election nexus to be accurate. The pre-election rhetoric of an elected Prime Minister has never been self-debunked, belied and abandoned in such a brazen manner”, Mr. Omar Abdullah added while speaking in Doda. The National Conference Working President said both PDP and BJP had a one-point agenda to oppose the National Conference as it was National Conference that represented and articulated the political aspirations of the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. “For achieving this common cause, a highly divisive campaign, based on inciting regional and religious passions was unleashed in the two regions to benefit the BJP in Jammu and the PDP in the Valley”, he said adding both parties now stood exposed before the people. “The disenchantment among the people has reached an unprecedented level. The sense of anti-incumbency against this present Government within the very first year is much greater than the engineered, fake perception of anti-incumbency against the previous NC-led Government at the culmination of entire six year tenure – and that means something. While regional polarization and efforts to divide the people on the basis of their religions could have short-term political advantages for the ruling parties, Jammu and Kashmir will always stick to its legacy of inclusiveness, secularism and tolerance. The foundations of this legacy were laid by Sher-e-Kashmir Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah whose unflinching faith in secularism was acknowledged by his biggest adversaries. Secularism is ingrained in the political foundation and philosophy of National Conference and it will remain our guiding force for all times to come”, Mr. Omar Abdullah said. Omar Abdullah recalled the glorious journey of public service rendered by National Conference from its rechristening as National Conference from Muslim Conference over eight decades ago. “Those giving sermons on secularism should learn its basics from the glorious, selfless history of National Conference. We have rendered unparalleled sacrifices for the cause of secularism and inclusiveness”, the NC Working President added. The former Chief Minister elaborated over the failures of the coalition government and said development has been pushed to back-burner while public grievances were mounting unheard with each passing day. He said CAPD outlets lacked sufficient supplies and the utility services were craving for maintenance. “The promise of 24×7 power supply has turned out to be a counter nightmare with unprecedented and unscheduled power cuts haunting the people of the State at the very onset of the winter season”. The National Conference Working President exhorted the party functionaries to wholeheartedly focus on the Party Membership Drive in their respective areas for making the party more vibrant and stronger at the grassroots level. “A strong National Conference is the only answer to this opportunistic, harmful and anti-people dispensation which has bartered all its promises for the convenience of its own political empowerment”, Omar Abdullah added. Prominent among those who addressed the workers’ convention included Provincial President Devender Singh Rana, former ministers Ajay Kumar Sadhotra and Khalid Najeeb Suharwardhy, State Vice President Rattan Lal Gupta, former MP Sheikh Abdul Rehman, Provincial Youth National Conference President Ajaz Jan, former legislator Brij Mohan Sharma and Dr Chaman Lal besides Choudhry Salam-ud-Din, Shabir Ahmed Ganai and Zaffar Ullah.
2015 Kashmir Despatch