By Shafaat Mir
Anantnag: Conference and Congress launched a scathing attack on the PDP for its alliance with the BJP and the use of force against people during 2016 uprising in the Valley.
Addressing a poll rally at Anantnag’s Dak Bunglow, former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah taking a dig at the PDP-BJP coalition said the coming together of his party and congress is a response against powers that change demography of the state.
Highlighting the repression faced by people in 2016, he said the PDP locked Jamia Masjid Srinagar hence depriving people from offering prayers there.
“I was stunned to read in the newspapers that 11000 pellet guns have been sanctioned for the Valley. Even on Eid (September 2016) people were not allowed to offer prayers (as curfew was imposed across the Valley). I ask Mehbooba Ji, did people vote PDP for this?” he said.
“I have a strong feeling that If PDP doesn’t take support of Hurriyat’s boycott call, or if it doesn’t make policemen caste proxy votes, and if the upcoming by-elections will be free and fair, it will in no way win these seats. The resentment against PDP is so much that its candidates might forfeit their deposit,” he added.
He said PDP promised jobs for youth during 2014 assembly elections but it provided jobs to those PDP candidates who lost the assembly elections. “Defeated candidates were provided employment by making them chairmen of several corporations and departments but youth still remain unemployed,” Omar said.
Congress leader Tariq Hamid Qarra, a former PDP Member Parliament said he out rightly told his former party that he would not be part of the PDP-BJP “unholy” alliance.
“Today, even when PDP is in power, it has no authority to take any decision, be it a political, or an economic in nature. The current J&K government is being operated from Nagpur”, he said.
He questioned the PDP’s claim of facilitating the resolution of Kashmir issue saying “what have they done till date”. “I asked the PDP leadership that you had promised people to start talks with the Hurriyat as soon as you come to power, but what happened to that promise? PDP used to brag that it won’t let anyone harm the special status or Article 370, but as soon as the government was formed, their coalition partner BJP attacked Article 370 by challenging the Constitution’s Article 35(A) in the Supreme Court. The political unrest did not start spontaneously in 2016; it was the incompetence of the PDP that led to resentment among the people,” Tariq said.
He said defeating his former party has become a religious obligation for him because of the threat to religious identity due to PDP-BJP alliance.
“BJP is the same party which could not find a single Muslim candidate in the most populous state of Uttar Pradesh. Now they have installed the most communal and anti-Muslim person, Yogi Adityanath, as the CM of that state,” he added.
Tariq concluded his speech by calling those fighting against the BJP as ‘Mujahid’, a statement that evoked laughter from the audience.
“In my opinion, whosoever is fighting for the rights of minorities of India or against these communal forces is a ‘Mujahid’. Even Ambika Soni is a Mujahid in that sense. While fighting elections for the PDP I used to raise a slogan, “Sabzech Alam Chaiy Aethaskyeath, Aesih di Taar Parvardigaar (With a green flag in hands, Allah will help us succeed) but now I raise an altogether different slogan, “BJP’ich Alam Chaiy Yiman Aethaskyeath, Timan Kaerih Khaar Parvardigaar (Whosoever is bearing BJP’s flag in hands, will be led astray by Allah),” he said.
Senior Congress leader Ambika Soni said, “BJP might have won elections by unfair means in UP and Uttarakhand but if the Kashmiri people will make our candidate win, it will send a strong message across the Indian nation that the Crown of India, Kashmir, has rejected the communal politics of BJP.”
Congress nominee for Anantnag G A Mir said in his speech, “In my three decades of political career, I have been working on the ground in far-off places across Jammu and Kashmir and in India. Today, not only the NC and Congress supporters and workers are against the PDP but also its own people are questioning this alliance with the BJP. It is the political cadre of south Kashmir which will decide the fate of the candidates. Despite all the dangers, people from far-off places have come to listen to us today. This gathering of 3,000 people seems like a gathering of three lakh to me.”
Sakina Itoo said, “People have to vote against the party which martyred 100 youth last year. Earlier it was the Gul Curfew that had set records for the strictest curfew in the Valley, but this time Mufti Sahab’s daughter surpassed all previous records and enforced one of the harshest curfews in Kashmir’s history. In 2014, the PDP sought votes from people to stop the advance of RSS in the Valley, but later formed an alliance with the party of that very same ideology.”