Omar criticises BJP for 'doublespeak' on Kashmir

  • Toufiq Rashid, Hindustan Times, Srinagar
  • Updated: Nov 20, 2014 23:44 IST

Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah on Thursday criticised the BJP for what he said was the party's "doublespeak" on the issue of Article 370.

"In Delhi their leaders say Kashmir's statehood and special status is temporary and in Kashmir one of their leaders says she will pick up the gun if it (article 370) is abrogated," said Abdullah, who is also the working president of National Conference (NC).

He made the comments during a rally in Beerwah town in central Kashmir where he went to file his nomination papers for the assembly elections.

The chief minister said the BJP will never accept Kashmiri people when, according to him, the party does not accept the special identity of Kashmir and the Article 370, which grants the state a special status.

Omar said that he hoped the BJP will come clear on the issue when Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits Kashmir.

Later while answering media queries about whether the NC could form an alliance with the BJP after the elections, Abdullah said that he is working to get a mandate on his own.

He made an impassioned appeal to voters in the constituency to vote him to power to carry out developmental activities, while reminding them that he did not allow extension of the lease of army's firing range in Tosa Maidan.

"We got the artillery range vacated and sanitised due to our efforts and it is my dream that we will see Tosa Maidan developed as a thriving tourism destination where people can find new employment opportunities," Abdullah said.

The chief minister also took on the NC' coalition partner, the Congress, saying they were trying to own up all the good work which the government has done in the last six years. "They were the ones to hinder the formation of administrative units, now they are claiming that they have made them.

The Congress is claiming to have made hospitals, roads, schools everything…but when asked why their minister in-charge failed during flood response, they say that nothing happens without the consent of the chief minister,'' Abdullah said.

At the rally, Abdullah also took care to mention the illness of his father, Farooq Abdullah, who is undergoing treatment in London and said the Abdullah Senior's absence will not bring down the NC.

He said he was confident that the NC will form the next government in the state.

"These parties should know that the turncoats and opportunists that they are grabbing from within NC had come alone to the party and have left alone. It is not these people who form the spine or strength of NC but it is our workers and supporters," Abdullah said, referring to NC leaders who recently deserted the party.


Omar Abdullah rubbished the PDP's allegation that he had joined the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan at the instance of the Prime Minister to please him.

"I wish they were correct. It is all propaganda they have thrived on. I was nominated by Salman Khan (Bollywood actor) on Twitter. Salman Khan has more followers on Twitter. So I picked up the broom at his instance," he said.

Abdullah said if sweeping the roads guaranteed electoral success, PDP president Mehbooba Mufti should have also wielded a broom as he (Omar) had nominated her on Twitter as part of the cleanliness campaign.

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