Jammu: Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Tuesday accused the Mehbooba Mufti-led collation government of ‘failing on all fronts’. He said that the ‘open criticism’ of the coalition government by the Governor was enough proof of its failure.
The NC leader was referring to Governor N.N. Vohra’s statement during a commemoration function here on Monday in honour of late Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed.
Vohra had said the “state faces many problems, some are our own doings and some by others contributions”. He urged the Jammu and Kashmir government to perk up its performance.
Abdullah said the Governor’s statement was an “indictment” against the PDP-BJP collation government, proving its failure on all fronts.
He said the situation in the state had drastically deteriorated since the PDP-BJP government assumed power. He said the government’s promise of development was nowhere to be seen.
Omar Abdullah said Mehbooba Mufti leveled allegations at him for creating Hizbul Mujahidin commander Burhan Wani but she has no realization of how many youth picked up gun during her tenure.
“You made allegations on me that I was responsible for creating Burhan Wani. But do you realize of how many Burhan Wani’s were created during your tenure in government. If I have one allegation how many you have, you should have realization of this thing,” Omar told Mehbooba while responding in the motion of thanks on the governors address.
“You feel proud on killing of 200 militants. But you should realize that more youth joined militancy in your government without trainings. Reports are that AMU scholar has joined Hizb as well,” he said.
He said the present coalition’s mis-governance forced youth to become fidayeen.
“Earlier, Fidayeen would come from Pakistan and Afghanistan but now our youth become fidayeen and blame goes on your government,” Omar told Mehbooba.
He castigated the government and said it was using bloodshed to remain in good books from both the sides.
“Your DG says killing of 200 militants is a success and your chief spokesman says that there is no harm in expressing sympathy with the militants who are killed. You want to keep both happy because you first kill and then extend sympathy to keep another side happy,” he said.
Omar Abdullah lambasted the government for reviving CASO culture and said the forces were made targets of IED blasts when people had forgotten its fear.
“Security forces have become target of IEDs at a time when we had almost forgotten about it. Government revived crackdowns in the name of CASO when the people had lost its fear,” he said and asked the government not to compare the situation of 2017 with 2016 but the years before that.
“We admit that 2017 is peaceful than 2016 but compare it with 2011, 2012 and 2013 and judge whether situation has improved or deteriorated,” he said.
Omar castigated the government for its failure to conduct parliamentary polls in south Kashmir saying that they (government) surrendered before the separatist leadership and other powers (without naming militants), who were against elections from 1996.
“You made records of your wrong doings. It has happened for the first time that parliamentary elections couldn’t be held by any government. Hurriyat and other powers never wanted elections here since 1996. They tried to disrupt elections here but this is first time that government surrendered and they won,” Omar Abdullah said.
“When you can’t hold election and can’t provide people a right to vote you openly accept defeat and you admit that you could not fulfill the constitutional responsibility,” he said.
The former CM told the House that government’s decision to hold panchayat election will affect the tourist season of the state. He said the hoteliers didn’t see any inflow of tourists during the year 2016 and 2017 “but I pray to God that same should not happen in 2018.”
“I don’t know whether you will be able to hold these polls and reality is that I know you are not ready to hold panchayt polls but you are doing it under compulsion,” he said.
Questioning the actual position of centrally appointed representative of Jammu and Kashmir Dineshwar Sharma, former CM said there was no clarity in his mandate.
“What is the mission of the special representative? If he works like a super chief minister, as we hear, by meeting delegations to look into the problems with regard to power, water, non-availability of doctors at hospital, unemployment issues. (But) It is your job,” Omar said during the motion of thanks on governor’s address.
“You (Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and Sharma) are treading on parallel tracks…. It is your responsibility and not Sharma’s to set right electricity transformers, to improve water supply or giving job orders to unemployed youth.
“If he is a special representative, as was mentioned by the governor in his speech, his responsibility should be different,” the former chief minister said.
Apparently referring to separatist leaders, Omar said Sharma should meet “such people, who will facilitate resolution of the big issues. The minor issues could be solved by you as well”.
He said the appointment of Sharma by the Centre came several months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his Independence Day speech from Red Fort, said that bullets or abuses will not resolve the Kashmir issue and that it can be addressed by embracing every Kashmiri.
“After the prime minister’s speech, we were hopeful of a new beginning and we waited and waited. Then, suddenly, an announcement was made about the nomination of Sharma but soon after confusion took over,” he said,
Omar asked the government to clarify if Sharma was an interlocutor or a special representative or a spokesperson as different voices were coming from the governments at the centre and in the state on the issue.
“First we don’t know what is the real status of Sharma.
You said he is a special representative, and in speeches and interviews he was given the status of interlocutor, but MoS in PMO (Jitendra Singh) said he is not an interlocutor but a spokesman,” Omar said.
The former chief minister asked what was Sharma’s “mandate and what do you want to achieve from his appointment”.
Whether there is a time frame for his mission or it will go on indefinitely. “He has the mandate to talk to who all, MoS PMO says that the talks will be held within the frame work of Constitution while MoS Home says the talks won’t be held with separatists.
“You are saying he will talk with everyone who is ready for talks but the home minister says Sharma himself will decide with whom to talk,” he said.
Sharma is not here on his own will, the NC leader said and wondered “how he would say he will talk to separatist leaders Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq or Yaseen Malik”.
Omar said there should be clarity on his mandate.
The NC working president also asked the Centre to clarify whether Sharma is preparing a report and if it will be submitted to Parliament.
Omar cautioned the government that if the “past mistakes” are repeated, “the people won’t have much faith” in the exercise.
“Some are our mistakes, some we inherited. If you are not setting right the past mistakes or adding another chapter, then what is the fun,” he said. (with inputs from PTI)