Says ‘laanat’ on political leaders if they are still after ‘chair’
Srinagar: Former J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah on Thursday said that disunity among the region’s political parties in the past had made their voices weaker and New Delhi’s job easier.
Speaking to party workers at the headquarters of the National Conference in Nawa-e-Subah complex here, Omar said that New Delhi has left no stone unturned to weaken and divide the mainstream political parties in Jammu and Kashmir.
“And until last year, we (mainstream parties) remained busy in opposing each other. As a result, our voices grew weaker, which emboldened the government to succeed in snatching our identity,” he told his party workers
A day before the abrogation of Article 370 last year in August, six mainstream political parties had joined hands to fight against any move to undermine J&K’s autonomy and special status. This month, the mainstream political parties formed an alliance, named as People’s Alliance of Gupkar Declaration, to fight for restoration of the autonomy and special status.
“I wish this alliance should have come sometime back. The present political situation would have been utterly different,” Omar said.
Omar asked New Delhi if it wants mainstream parties to call it a day in politics. “What do they want from us? Quit the mainstream politics here?” he asked, referring to the government’s action of preventing Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) workers from holding a protest on Thursday against newly introduced land laws in J&K.
He said that it was unfortunate that the region’s political fight for the rights of the people was being termed as anti-national. “We are being tagged as anti-national for fighting for our rights. I must recall the role played by Maqbool Sherwani, who under this (NC) flag played a pivotal role in 1947,” he said.
Omar said that the region’s political parties will fight tooth and nail for the rights of people of Jammu and Kashmir because the decision to allow non-locals to buy land here was an onslaught on those rights.
He drew a comparison with Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, and Himachal Pradesh where outsiders cannot buy land.
“In Nagaland, the leaders have clearly rejected the Indian Constitution, flag and sovereignty, and still talks are being held with them. But when people in Jammu and Kashmir are raising voice for their identity, land and other rights, they are tagged as anti-nationals,” he said.
“Laanat hai hum par agar in haalat mein aaj bhi hum kursi ke liye lad rahe hai (Shame on those if we continue to fight for petty power in this situation),” he said, adding that people will never forgive political leaders if they keep eyeing the secretariat and the power that comes with it.