Chief minister Omar Abdullah's statement about misconception of the Centre about peace in Kashmir and its act of provocation -- Afzal Guru -- is being seen as more of a political gimmick and also a reflection of his helplessness by his political opponents.
"He is the biggest beneficiary of largesse of the Centre, which had always sided with him when even public anger spilled on roads resulting in deaths of more than hundred youths. The Centre had repeatedly extended lifelines to him. But, now with elections round the corner, he is trying to hoodwink the people. Hopefully, there will not be many takers for this," said Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) spokesperson Nayeem Akhtar.
The CM had on Sunday said, "Kashmiris can't be taken for granted and one shouldn't believe that their anger would not boil beyond a certain limit…. New Delhi has developed a misconception in this regard and it assumes that 'peace in Kashmir' is permanent."
Independent MLA Engineer Rashid, who had individually stalled the budget session repeatedly over the hanging of Afzal guru, said this statement is nothing but farce. "He is the chief minister and his father (Farooq Abdullah) is a union cabinet minister. How could he make us believe that hanging was done without informing or consulting them? And now he is saying it was an act of provocation by the Centre. He is playing pure politics with an eye on the elections," said Rashid.
Omar, after the hanging of Guru, had said he was not informed about it.
The recent post by Omar Abdullah on Facebook about Srinagar airport not being upgraded to international standard also evoked sharp responses with some people saying it's an attempt to disturb peace.
"PDP, with major differences with the Centre, wants to create bridges with strong democratic institutions, so that both sides should understand each others' point of view. But the NC has always tried to create disturbance, which alienates people and then projects itself as the sole guarantor which can keep Kashmir with India," said PDP spokesperson.
Former union minister and long-time BJP member MLA Chaman Lal Gupta also took strong exception to the tone and tenor of Omar's statement.
Said Chaman, "A person sitting on responsible seat shouldn't make such an irresponsible statement. He is now acting like his grandfather late Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, who would also make such statements. It's nothing but just political gimmick to remain in power."
Finance minister AR Rather, in whose constituency the function was held where Omar made this statement, said he is the second Sher-i-Kashmir who has inherited qualities and vision from Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah.