Srinagar: National Conference president Dr Farooq Abdullah on Friday asserted that people of Jammu & Kashmir were the rightful owners of the state and that no one can abridge their constitutional rights.
Addressing a public meet at Chak Dhara, Fakirgujri, Abdullah said that the people of Kashmir have never allowed any one to subdue them. “In the coming times we will keep up with this historical proclivity of ours. New Delhi has time and again betrayed people of the state by backpedaling on the assurances it gave from time to time on restoring autonomy,” he said.
He denounced the restrictions on civilian traffic on the national highway for two days a week. “Never in history have the state highways been closed for civilian traffic, even during the most tumultuous times witnessed by the state. Even during the height of Kargil war, the civilian vehicular movement was never disallowed as is being done today. The order should be revoked as it will make lives of lakhs of people miserable,” he said.
Flaying PM Modi for squandering the mandate of people, he said, “Today our nation is facing immense hazard in the form of communal strife. Now it is up to us to decide if India remains secular and progressive in its outlook or a country which is tangled with the clutches of communal strife and bigotry. The opportunity has come; we should not let it pass by us. Today on one hand there is Gandhi’s India which is all inclusive and on other hand there are forces which believe that India belongs to the adherents of only one faith.”
Lashing out at the Muftis for betraying the mandate of people given to them in 2014, he said, “Mufti Sayeed betrayed the mandate of people by hobnobbing with RSS-BJP. People had reposed their faith in him but what followed was a colossal betrayal of that trust. The embrace of Muftis and BJP-RSS plunged the state into chaos and uncertainty.”
Castigating the former PDP-BJP government on the implementation of GST in the state, he said, “PDP hunkered down for the sake of power and chair, not to talk of preserving what was left of our autonomy. The BJP-PDP combine severely put to distress the ordinary populace of the state. People are hankering for ration. Sugar is absent from ration stores. The food security bill has hit thousands of families across the state. During my stint as CM I waived off Sales Tax loans; during Omar Abdullah’s government after the devastating floods of 2014, we provided free ration to people for six months. Now with GST in place, we cannot even think of doing it. God forbid, if a similar situation arises, we have to raise the issue in the GST Council and get permission from the center to do so. All credit for destroying our fiscal autonomy goes to PDP.”
In a frontal attack on Modi, Abdullah said, “The incumbent Modi government failed on all fronts and to hide its failures it has created a confrontational situation with a neighbouring country to hide the farmer distress, price rise, foreign policy failures, and falling economy. He squandered the mandate of people and aggravated the situation to an extent which will take years to restore. Every single vital sector of our country is presenting a grimy tale of misgovernance.”
Party president said that the people have to vote for securing their identity and integrity. “Our vote will make difference both at centre and at state level. The people should avail of this opportunity and send the candidates of NC to Parliament. In these difficult times we should repose our trust in god. Only He will salvage us from the tumultuous times we are going through,” he said.
Calling for good relations between India and Pakistan, he said, “We in Jammu and Kashmir suffer immensely due to the animosity between India and Pakistan. National Conference for past seventy years has been vouching for affable Indo-Pak relations. We in National Conference have persistently maintained that Indo-Pak bonhomie will usher in a new era of peace and prosperity in our peace craving state. I believe and hope that the next government would initiate dialogue with Pakistan, because if the two countries come closer, the dividends of their friendship will be felt in our state, which always come between the line of fire between India and Pakistan.”
Senior party leaders Haji Ali Muhammad Sagar, Mian Altaf, Pir Afaq, GQ Pardesi, Ahsan Pardesi, Bashir Ah Ganaie, Arshad Bhat and Advocate Bashir Ahmad Kuthoo also addressed the public meet and sought a huge winning margin for the party president. Advisor to the party president Mushtaq Guroo was also present.