Srinagar: Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah took exception to the exclusion of the legislator of his National Conference from at a train inauguration function in Anantnag district.
In his sharp criticism of the move to ignore his party member, Abdullah tweeted: “What a shame that the office bearer of a political party is a ‘guest of honour’ but the local MLA isn’t included.”
NC legislator from Homshalibugh constituency, Abdul Majeed Larmi, was reportedly not invited to a function in Anantnag where Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu inaugurated two new trains between Baramulla town in the Kashmir Valley and Bannihal town in the Jammu region.
In another tweet, Abdullah said: “I remember Mufti Sahib (late chief minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed) being given a seat on the dais with (then prime minister) Dr. Manmohan Singh and (Congress chief) Mrs. (Sonia) Gandhi during my term even though it wasn’t his area.”
Larmi also criticised the railways for not inviting him for the flagging off ceremony of two new train services held in his Homeshalibugh constituency.
“I was not invited by the railway authorities but by the Deputy Commissioner as I am the local MLA,” he said.
The MLA questioned the motive of the PDP-BJP government to include the name of Sartaj Madni, PDP General Secretary and uncle of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti Sayeed, in the advertisements for inauguration of the new trains while his name was excluded.
The function took place at Anantnag railway station. “I left the function when the PDP supporters began hooting as my name was being called on the podium,” Larmi said.
He said he told the Chief Minister that he would not want to be part of a function where political opponents are being disrespected.
Eyewitnesses said Larmi left the dais amid hooting and whistles by PDP supporters. He was protesting over being belittled by the audience that mainly comprised of the ruling PDP workers.
With Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and Deputy Chief Minister on the podium, the announcer started welcoming the dignitaries. When he welcomed Abdul Majid Larmi, crowds shouted – shame, shame. Crowds reacted similarly when the announcer welcomed Congress lawmaker Mohammad Amin Bhat and NC’s Altaf Kaloo from Pahalgam.
Larmi left the dais and moved out of the venue. A number of officials and his supporters accompanied him. He rushed out of the venue boarded his car and left. As he was leaving, the crowd whistled and hooted at him.
The additional trains inaugurated on Thursday would stop at only 10 stations between the two destinations in contrast to other trains moving between Baramulla and Bannihal those stop at 17 stations.