SRINAGAR: Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Wednesday accused New Delhi of “slowly doing away” with the conditions on which the accession of the state to the Union of India had taken place, saying New Delhi has failed to keep its side of the agreement.
He said the responsibility of maintaining the basis of JK’s accession to India lay more with the Centre than the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
“We should say this with courage that if the accession of Jammu and Kashmir happened, it happened on certain conditions. You cannot compare us with Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal because they acceded to India without any condition,” the National Conference (NC) working president said addressing party workers on the first death anniversary of the party’s former general secretary Sheikh Nazir.
“We had put conditions. We said we will join you but it should be your responsibility to look after three things – Finance, Communication and Defence, Foreign Affairs only and the rest will be ours. This is what we called autonomy. What justice is this that even as we stand on our agreement, Delhi has not kept its word,” he said.
Omar said it is an “ironic arrangement” that on one hand you tell us to talk about accession but “you are slowly doing away with those conditions on which that accession happened.”
“What type of agreement is this? If the accession has happened on certain basis, it is your responsibility to maintain that basis much more than it is the responsibility of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. I seek forgiveness, but they (Centre) have failed to fulfil their responsibility. That is why the situation in the state has deteriorated to such an extent,” Omar said.
Referring to the controversy over the state having a separate flag after a BJP member challenged it in a court, he said, the people of Jammu and Kashmir will protect the state’s flag till their death.
“We have inherited the state’s flag when we acceded with you (India), but who are you to snatch our flag away? This flag is our identity, it is our mark. The three lines on it are of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and we will protect this flag till our death,” Omar said.
Maintaining that the issue of Jammu and Kashmir was political and can only be resolved politically, he said it was surprising that some people thought even today that the solution to it lay in money.
He alleged that PDP wanted only money and not asking for anything political (from the BJP) to form the government in the state.
“These ink-pot people (symbol of PDP) are not asking for anything political to form the government. They want money in their kitty. The militant who picks up gun, he does not pick it up for money.
“The issue of Jammu and Kashmir was never of money. It is a political issue and has to be solved politically. So, if (PDP president) Mehbooba (Mufti) sacrifices her political agenda and hopes that people will laud her for getting the money, then that will not happen,” Omar said.
He said he will be the first person to laud Mehbooba if she gets any political package for the state.
“If you (Mehbooba) want to get anything for the state (before the government formation), then you should get a political package and I will be the first person to stand and laud you,” he said.
The NC working president said some people at in New Delhi were under the wrong impression that the solution to militancy in the state lies in a financial package.
“No one could get more money than (former Prime Minister) Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad, but even then he could not wipe Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah out from people’s hearts. Even now, some people at the Centre are under this wrong impression that the money will be able to wipe the sentiment from the hearts of the youths of Kashmir, which is impossible. The solution to that sentiment does not lie in money,” Omar said.
On the issue of government formation by PDP and BJP, Omar said he failed to understand why the two parties were not forming the government despite having numbers.
“They have the numbers in the Assembly. Governor’s rule is imposed when no one has the numbers in the assembly, which is known as breakdown of constitutional order as there is no opportunity for any party to form a government. Both the parties say they are together and, if that is the case, then they have numbers and if they have numbers, why there isn’t a government?” he said.