Former Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah on Wednesday asked PDP-BJP duo to desist from dividing people on communal and regional lines in a bid to hide their governance deficit and administrative inertia. “The diversionary and sinister tactics of engineering communal divide unfold a huge challenge to people, who should unite and foil these machinations unitedly by maintaining time-tested harmony and amity,” Omar Abdullah said while addressing workers at Kalakote during fourth leg of his five-day visit of Poonch and Rajuri districts.
“In a situation where in deep wedge has been created between the two regions of Jammu and Kashmir, National Conference has a crucial role to bridge the gap”, he said and invoked the legacy of his party in maintaining communal harmony and regional amity at all costs.
He said division in the society is being perpetrated to further the interests of those who are thriving on divide and rule. He recalled that Sher-e-Kashmir Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah used to say that some elements in the Centre have all along worked for creating multiple leadership in Jammu and Kashmir so that the people cannot speak in one voice.
In this context, he referred to the creation of PDP in 2000 and said this was done to divide the people and weaken their resolve. He said National Conference will not allow the society to be fragmented into bits and pieces for satiating the nefarious agenda of communal forces.
Omar Abdullah said that Jammu and Kashmir is at the cross roads of its history with internal security taking a big hit and entire development process coming to standstill.
“We wonder whether the state is being pushed backwards with any malafide intention”, he said, adding that the security situation is so precarious that for the first time he was constrained to forego travel on Mughal Road due to threat perception. “As Chief Minister for six years, I never underwent any such experience and kept moving around freely to interact with the people,” he added.
He questioned the efficacy of a dispensation that could not hold elections, he said and referred to the postponement of Lok Sabha by-polls for Anantnag Parliamentary Constituency in May this year, Before going for these polls, the ultra nationalist BJP partnered coalition had raised hands up by pleading against holding elections.
“Is this done”, he asked, saying the government could not muster courage to ensure people cast their votes in a free atmosphere in democratic spirit.
The former Chief Minister blamed PDP for making compromises and submitting before its coalition partner in New Delhi on every issue at the cost of state’s interests and dignity of the people. In hot pursuit of remaining glued to power, he said the PDP has bade adieu to its so-called Agenda of Alliance that envisaged resumption of dialogue with Pakistan, separatists and all other stake holders including militants, safeguarding the special status of the state under Article 370, return of hydel power projects etc. But, on the contrary the fiscal autonomy of the state was jeopradised by implementing GST, interests of rationed population were compromised by introducing National Food Security Act and so much so a situation has been brought wherein Article 35A of the Constitution of India is under grave threat, he maintained.
Omar dwelt in detail the challenges confronted to the state and said the priority is to safeguard Article 35A which is custodian of the interests of the people of all faiths in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh.
He expressed concern over dilapidated utility services, escalation in the prices of food-grains, unemployment, delays in releasing wages etc. He said the government has failed on all fronts and misgovernance has taken toll of the people across the state.