Farooq, Azad engaged in verbal duel

  • Toufiq Rashid, Hindustan Times, Srinagar
  • Updated: Aug 25, 2014 19:32 IST

Trouble seems to be brewing again in the National Conference-Congress alliance. This time it's the two most popular players in the coalition and former ministers in the Manmohan Singh cabinet -- Farooq Abdullah and Ghulam Nabi Azad engaged in a verbal duel.

On Sunday, Abdullah who is in London for treatment, issued a statement accusing former chief minister and Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad of making "allegations" and "distorting" facts in the wake of his comments on the secret execution of Afzal Guru in February 2013.

"I am deeply disappointed at Ghulam Nabi Azad's statement in one of the local newspapers that insinuated that I was in the loop over Afzal Guru's execution. This is a very immature allegation, innuendoes, and full of lies," Dr Farooq Abdullah said in a statement from London, adding "we both were a part of the cabinet and I in unequivocal terms had condemned this hanging."

"The fact of the matter is that the execution, as Azad himself states and implies, was shrouded in secrecy. All of us came to know about it after it had been carried out. I approached Azad and made it clear to him that we should jointly register our protest in front of the PM," Dr Farooq Abdullah said.

"What Azad is saying is a clear distortion of facts and I condemn it," Farooq said, adding, "It is deeply disappointing that a politician of a stature as Azad should feel the need to publicly distort the truth, cast aspersions and create doubts. I unequivocally condemn Azad and his crass statement."

Farooq was reacting to a news report in a local newspaper saying National Conference president and former union minister Farooq Abdullah may have been in loop about the secret execution of Afzal Guru.
"May be Farooq knew about it, I didn't," Azad was quoted by the newspaper.

Guru was hanged in New Delhi's Tihar Jail on February 9, 2013 during the Manmohan Singh regime.
Abdullah, however, had always maintained 'neither he or Azad' were consulted before the execution.

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