Srinagar: For the first time in this decade, the National Conference (NC) leaders didn’t talk about the life of the party’s founder Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah at his mausoleum on his 112th birthday on Tuesday.
Hundreds of the NC workers left the mausoleum disappointed as both party President Farooq Abdullah and his son Omar Abdullah didn’t address them.
Amid chilling winter cold, the NC supporters had started assembling at Sheikh’s mausoleum early morning to pay tributes to their party leader.
“We do come here to learn about the struggle and legacy of our leader. It is an opportunity to talk about Sheikh sahib but unfortunately, our leaders choose silence today,” said an NC leader from south Kashmir.
Farooq and Omar reached Sheikhs mausoleum at 11:30 am offered prayers and paid floral tributes to Sheikh.
However, both the father son duo didn’t address the party workers, who were waiting to listen to them.
“They left the venue soon after the Fateh and did not stay here for more than 10 minutes,” said another worker. They immediately left the venue and refused to talk to the media.
NC supporters said it was for the first time in recent past that Farooq and Omar didn’t address the workers on Sheikh’s birth anniversary.
As past practice, Farooq would always address the party workers on the birth anniversary of Sheikh. “We don’t know the reason why they did not address party workers,” said another worker.
However, other party leaders including NC General Secretary, Ali Mohammad Sagar and Mubarak Gul addressed the party workers. Gul said that Hurriyat leaders should form a group and send it to Pakistan to find a peaceful solution to Kashmir issue.
Later in the day, Farooq said in a statement that Sher-e-Kashmir’s legacy of unimaginable struggles for the dignity of his people provides a guiding light for not just the party but the people of J&K as a whole.
“In Sher-e-Kashmir’s legacy, we find answers to many challenges that we are faced with today – including a challenge to our special status and unique political identity. The best tribute to Sher-e-Kashmir would be to leave no stone unturned to fight for the honour and dignity of our people who have suffered immensely due to various political machinations, instability and turmoil”, Dr Farooq Abdullah said.
Omar said the party was committed to nurturing the cherished goal of Sher-e-Kashmir to fight for the restoration of the political dignity and rights of our people.