Kargil: The BJP has lost its moral ground to stand before the people of Kargil post-bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir in August 2019, National Conference Vice President Omar Abdullah said on Saturday.
Addressing a rally here ahead of the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council-Kargil election on October 4, he slammed the BJP for not giving representation to the Muslim community and making its MP Ramesh Bidhuri in charge of Tonk district in poll-bound Rajasthan instead of taking action against him for his “anti-Muslim speech” in Lok Sabha.
“They are showing their hatred towards Muslims openly. They need to answer questions before coming here asking for votes,” Abdullah said. “They have lost the moral ground to stand before the public.”
Expressing confidence about a landslide victory in the election, he said, “A vicious attempt was made to wipe off the National Conference from Ladakh and even claims were made by BJP MP (Jamyang Tsering Namgyal) that they have uprooted the party’s (NC’s) symbol (plough).”
“It is not so easy and cannot be done in haste as the people of Kargil have centuries-old family and blood relations with the people in Kashmir,” he said.
The NC and the Congress are fighting the election together.
“We (the NC and the Congress) are fighting together to send a strong message to the people in the country that what happened on August 5, 2019, was undemocratic and based on injustice.
“With people’s support, we are going to win the polls and they (BJP) are panicking which is evident by the way they are using every means to keep our candidates away from the public. Even my security was taken away on reaching Zero point,” the NC vice president said.
Referring to the court battle over the restoration of his party’s symbol in the Kargil polls, the former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister said that with time, people may forget MPs but the NC symbol will remain because it is in the hearts of the people.
On September 6, the Supreme Court set aside the August 5 notification of the election department of the Union Territory of Ladakh for the hill council polls and ordered the issuance of a fresh election schedule. It held that the National Conference is entitled to the ‘plough’ symbol and dismissed a plea by the Ladakh administration opposing the allotment of the symbol to the party and imposed a cost of Rs 1 lakh on it.
The Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court had earlier dismissed the Ladakh administration’s plea against a single bench order allowing NC candidates to contest the upcoming polls for LAHDC, Kargil, on the party symbol.
Abdullah, who was accompanied by his two sons and other senior party colleagues, alleged that he had to leave his security at the Zero Point en route to Kargil on the directions of the authorities to address the public meeting.
He said this was his third visit to Kargil after the abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union territories Ladakh and J-K.
“This is the first time that I had to leave my security at Zero Point. I do not have any grudge as I know they (BJP) are panicking. I know the people are with us and we have full faith in the Almighty.”
Abdullah said the people of Ladakh have lost much after getting the Union Territory status as they cannot have their own MLAs, MLCs, ministers and Rajya Sabha members while “people from outside” are ruling them.
He said the National Conference pleaded before the Supreme Court against abrogation of Article 370 and “now we are waiting for its decision and praying daily that all which was taken away from us gets restored”.