Jammu: National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah on Sunday alleged the BJP was using diversionary tactics as it failed to keep its promises and provide justice to any section of the society in Jammu and Kashmir.
The former chief minister said his party will scuttle every attempt of the BJP and will safeguard the rights of the people to start a new phase of development, once it returns to power.
Addressing his party workers at Surankote in the border district of Poonch, he said nothing has changed in Jammu and Kashmir since August 2019, when the BJP-led central government abrogated Article 370 and bifurcated the erstwhile state into two union territories.
“And since they (BJP) failed, they are using diversionary tactics by creating differences, making Muslims fight each other and harassing people (by using government agencies),” he said.
Referring to the assurances of the local BJP leadership to Pahari-speaking people that they will be given Scheduled Tribe status, he alleged that they are using the ploy to pitch Gujjars and Bakerwals against Paharis to make them fight each other.
“NC governments in the past always pleaded with successive central governments for ST status for Paharis on the plea that they also live like Gujjars and Bakerwals and face tremendous hardships. As the central government was taking time, my government recommended four per cent reservation for Paharis and one per cent reservation for Other Backward Classes for the time being but unfortunately we lost the (2014) elections and BJP came to power (in coalition with PDP) in 2015, he said.
He said had they been sincere towards the Paharis, they should be pressed for the implementation of the recommendation of the previous government to provide some sort of relief to them.
“They are only deceiving the community on the false promise because they know when you all (Gujjars, Bakerwals and Paharis) will come together, their boat will not move forward,” he said.
Abdullah said over the past two-and-a-half years since the abrogation of Article 370, nothing has changed as the youth are still jobless, the poor are becoming poorer and government schemes failed to benefit the public.
“They talked about industrialisation but not a single new industry was set up. They are cutting ribbons of tunnels, the work of which started during former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s tenure,” he said.
The delimitation report joining Rajouri and Poonch districts with the Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency is beyond one’s understanding, he said, adding, “We are forced to think that they are planning something fishy because of their track record.
He said the National Conference was criticised when it talked about internal autonomy, having two components — one between the Centre and J&K and the second within J&K with Pir Panchal being given a separate status within the state for its overall development.
“They became perturbed on our internal autonomy documents and accused us of drawing lines on the basis of religion,” he said, raising a question mark on linking Poonch and Rajouri with the Anantnag Lok Sabha seat.
“If they had laid the foundation of the tunnel (along the Mughal road), there was no need to create differences among the people and make them fight,” he said.
Criticising the final report of the delimitation commission, he said, “After going through the report, one would have liked to stay back at home but the past experience of the two-and-a-half years forced us out as we see the problems of the people increasing manifold instead of decreasing.”
He also criticised the baton charge and teargas shelling on the Kashmiri Pandits in the valley following the killing of a community member inside his office in Budgam district of central Kashmir.
“They (Kashmiri Pandits) were not looking towards any other person except BJP. They were taking part in our meetings during our visit to migrant camps but were straight forward in saying that they will only vote for Narendra Modi and BJP, he said, adding armoured trucks were used to stop their movement outside their camp like they were doing with mainstream leaders.