Reacting to former Chief Minister and National Conference (NC) working president Omar Abdullah's assertions regarding Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) nominated candidates for Rajya Sabha polls, the latter Wednesday said PDP represents some different set of values and it is not like NC where everything starts and ends within Abdullah family.
PDP chief spokesman, Naeem Akhtar said that both Fayaz Ahmad Mir and Nazir Ahmad Laway, the two party candidates for RS polls, got more votes than Omar Abdullah in the recent elections.
"They have popular base. Our decision is like a breath of fresh air. This is how you empower people and give them voice. If these persons were good enough to be MLAs why can't be they sent to Rajya Sabha. But NC has developed a political culture which revolves within Abdullah family and some of its close associates over the years," he said.
Omar had on Tuesday told KNS that PDP has fielded two "illiterates" as its candidates for Rajya Sabha and questioned how they can represent the state in the Upper House of Parliament.
However, Akhtar while rejecting Omar's assertions, said, "PDP represents some different set of values and it is not like NC where everything starts and ends within Abdullah family. When (late) Sheikh Abdullah appointed his successor, he ignored everybody including his closest associates who had sacrificed their lives for the party. He didn't even consider people like Afzal Beg. When the time to hand over leadership came, he handed it over to Farooq Abdullah who had nothing to do with the politics as he was a doctor in London."
"Same tradition was carried forward by Farooq Abdullah when he didn't consider senior leaders like Abdul Rahim Rather, Ali Muhammad Sagar, Muhammad Akbar Lone, Muhammad Shafi Uri and others and brought his son (Omar) who was an employee in a hotel and whose knowledge revolved around hotel management," he added.
However, the PDP spokesman was quick to add that both medicine and hotel management are respectable and dignified professions.
"But every MBBS certificate holder or a hotel front office manager isn't bound to become a CM without ever practicing politics, knowing the local culture, language, religion or walking the roads of that place. What both father and son (Farooq and Omar) made to the politics of state of J&K, we don't want to comment on that? That is why this party (NC) is squeezed from 56 seats in 1996 to 15 in 2014. They have no moral authority to speak of merits," he said.
Questioning Omar's role in Haji Yousuf's murder case, Akhtar said, "We know how NC has been distributing mandates. Haji Yousuf's case is a classic example of how they sold fake mandates for an MLC seat for Rs one crore. Had it happened in some other part of the country, somebody would have been in jail for killing Haji Yousuf."
On the NC-Congress tie up for RS polls, he said, "Till yesterday, they (NC and Congress leadership) would accuse each other. (Ghulam Nabi) Azad was on record to say that Omar gave this state worst ever government. Omar said 'Azad will lick boots of someone to get a RS seat.' Now who licked whose boots?"
He alleged that NC-Congress relationship has always been dependent on considerations of power and positions for an elite group of legislators who know how to promote their personal interests whether their party had won or lost and whatever happens to the state and its people.
Questioning the credentials of NC MPs of the past, Akhtar said, "Let Omar quote one example when the Aflatoons they (NC) had sent to Rajya Sabha represented the state. Fact is that they used to charge 20 percent commission every allocation before they would issue a letter to their close agents and relatives while spending MPLAD funds."