Srinagar, Nov 6: Former minister and Peoples Conference (PC) chairman Sajad Gani Lone on Tuesday criticized Congress for the Kashmir quagmire and blamed it for thrusting gun on peace-loving Kashmiris even as he praised former BJP Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee who he said only touched the heart of Kashmiris.
Lone, who was a minister in erstwhile PDP-BJP government on the share of saffron party’s share in the coalition, addressed a news conference here in which he also attacked other pro-India parties.
Lone, who was flanked by the newly elected Mayor of the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) Junaid Azim Mattu said that Kashmiris were unable to come out of the whirlpool created by the Congress.
“Congress thrust gun upon a peace-loving nation. They rigged elections after elections,” Lone said.
From 1947 till now, Lone said, 70 years have passed and Congress ruled the country for 50-55 years. He said BJP has been an ally of Peoples Conference, NC and Mehbooba Mufti’s party as well.
“When we talk of a leader who touched the heart of Kashmiris, why does only Vajpayeeji’s name come up? Why doesn’t any Congress PMs name come up? Why doesn’t Manmohan Singh, Narsimha Rao’s name surface? Lone said, adding “They (Congress) should introspect rather than lifting their finger at everybody,”
Replying to a question over the low turnout in the civic polls, Lone said the state has witnessed low and high turnout for the last 30 years.
“There have been spells of low and high turnout. In low turnout in 1996, NC formed the government and in 2002, PDP came to power. Farooq Abdullah is MP. In Srinagar municipal area he got only 3 per cent votes and he is in parliament,” he said.
Upbeat PC chairman also mocked at the National Conference (NC) Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) claiming that the two regional parties took a moral high by calling a boycott of the civic polls while their candidates surfaced in the fray.
“I’m happy they were united and I am happier they all lost,” he said.
Lone also thanked BJP and independent councillors for extending support to the PC candidate Mattu in Mayoral elections.
Talking to reporters, Mattu,who was elected as mayor SMS, said that mainstream politicians were relevant irrespective of the fact if there was a low or high turnout. He said the people have to over this delusion and sadistic habit of celebrating low turnout by taunting elected representatives.
“If you want to focus on a low turnout, then focus on Dr Farooq Abdullah’s election first. Ask him why are you sitting in the parliament with 2.9 per cent votes in Srinagar district?” Mattu said.
He said NC president Omar Abdullah allied with BJP when there was no compulsion to form a coalition government in the state.
“Had he got 20 seats in the last assembly elections, he would have been at their (BJP) door too. Mehbooba was with them till she was thrown out a few month back,” Mattu said.
“BJP is a reality. BJP has 25 seats in Jammu. Some of their candidates got over one lakh votes. You can’t just discredit them,” he added. Businessman Sheikh Imran, who was backed by the Congress and some independents, was elected as Deputy Mayor. (GNS)