Kulgam, Mar 18: National Conference Working President Omar Abdullah on Sunday said Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti stood relegated by her allies as erstwhile exclusive jurisdictions of the Chief Minister and the State Government had been effectively shifted to the Central Government and the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.
Addressing a well-attended workers’ convention at Damhal Hanjipora, Kulgam in south Kashmir on Sunday on the occasion of the 23rd Death Anniversary of NC Leader and Former Speaker Late Wali Muhammad Itoo, the NC Working President said PDP’s politics of rhetoric, deceit and broken promises was to be blamed for the deteriorating situation and rising alienation in the Valley.
The National Conference Working President paid glowing tributes to Late Wali Muhammad Itoo on his 23rd Death Anniversary and said his sacrifice and that of countless other party leaders and activists symbolized the struggle of National Conference to usher the State towards peace and democratic inclusion to empower the people while seeking a permanent, acceptable and dignified resolution to the political issue that had claimed thousands of innocent lives.
“PDP’s Faustian bargain with the BJP was not an electoral compulsion as Mehbooba Ji would like us to believe today. It was a pre-determined, pre-planned tactical and strategic coming together of the PDP and the BJP to reap dividends of a simultaneously divisive, insular and deceitful politics in both regions of the State. National Conference, after the election results of 2014, offered unconditional support to the PDP to form the Government with an intention to keep BJP at bay as their divisive campaign rhetoric and inherent politics of polarization didn’t auger well for the State’s stability and welfare. Unfortunately, the PDP turned that offer down on expected lines and went ahead to formalize an erstwhile informal alliance with the BJP. The repercussions of that decision are here for all of us to see and the costs have been enormous. Today, J&K has been pushed into the throes of renewed militancy, turmoil and division. While the situation in Kashmir is volatile and unstable, Jammu is on the brink due to BJP’s politics of polarization”, the National Conference Working President said while speaking at Kulgam.
The NC Working President said the situation was especially volatile in south Kashmir where the youth stand alienated and disenchanted because of PDP’s complete U-turn after 2014. “In 2014 mainstream activities in Shopian, Pulwama, Kulgam and Anantnag could be conducted freely without any apprehensions. Today, the situation is such that the very idea of the mainstream stands questioned because of PDP’s deceitful preference to power over ideology. The same young men who were exploited by the PDP in 2014 through its stentorian rhetoric are now being pushed towards militancy as all promises stand broken. The enormity of PDP’s betrayal with the people is such that its alliance partner often questions the very validity and existence of the ‘Agenda of the Alliance’ that was portrayed as PDP’s ideological agreement with the BJP. Parents in South Kashmir are weary about the future of their young children as the law and order situation deteriorates further in the complete absence of constructive, reconciliatory and sincere politics”, the National Conference Working President said.
“Fact of the matter is that Mehbooba has summarily surrendered her power to take decisions and has precious little to offer to the people beyond photo-ops and press statements. Just yesterday Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh exposed the duplicity and disingenuous modus operandi of the Chief Minister and her party when he revealed that the idea to offer amnesty to stone pelters came from the Central Government and not the State Government. This initiative till now was marketed by the PDP as Mehbooba’s initiative but it turns out she had nothing to do with the decision. Similarly, recently the Chief Minister tried to tell us how magnanimous and reconciliatory she was in seeking relief for a detained photojournalist who had been arrested by the NIA. The NIA came out at rubbished all such claims and said they would continue to oppose bail to the individual and had received no such instructions from the Government or the Union Home Minister. Fortunately for the family of the young photojournalist, the Honourable Courts granted him bail despite opposition from the prosecution”, the National Conference Working president further added.
The National Conference Working President also expressed serious concern over the growing unemployment in the State and said the PDP-BJP Government’s open patronage to nepotism, corruption and illegitimate recruitment practices had created a deep sense of despondency among the youth. “While our highly educated, skilled and talented young men and women are recruited under the SRO-202 policy, which the previous Government had revoked completely, the kith and kin of the leaders of the alliance are adjusted in plump Government jobs on gazetted posts through the backdoor. The sense of chaos and confusion in our recruitment boards and commissions is unprecedented as the Honourable Courts had to step in to quash the KAS mains examination. The youth have lost hope in the system and are being robbed of their fundamental right to dignified, gainful employment”, Omar Abdullah said.
Senior National Conference Leaders and legislators including NC Provincial President Nasir Aslam Wani, South Zone President Sakina Itoo, Legislators Altaf Ahmed Kaloo, Abdul Majeed Bhat (Larmi), Political Secretary to Working President Tanvir Sadiq, Provincial Spokesperson Imran Nabi Dar and Party Leader Safdar Ali Khan also attended the workers’ convention organized to commemorate the 23th Death Anniversary of Late Wali Muhammad Itoo.