The ruling Peoples Democratic Party was created to "destroy" National Conference soon after the passage of the autonomy resolution in the J&K Assembly, former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said on Thursday.
"(About) this ink-pot party (PDP), it is necessary to think where from it took the birth. The National Conference got the autonomy resolution passed in the Assembly and within months this new party came to the fore," he said, addressing National Conference workers here.
Omar said that his party had 28 MLAs and the PDP, which was formed in 1998 and contested its maiden election in 2002, had only 16 members.
"But they (PDP) formed the government and we, with 28 MLAs, were kept out of power. The aim was to destroy National Conference but Allah saved us; otherwise Mufti Sahib (late Mufti Muhammad Syeed) didn't leave anything to see through the plan," Omar, the National Conference working president, said.
"What he (Mufti) did during the times of GM Shah (former Chief Minister) was attempted in 2002 by Mufti sahib again. He made all attempts to remove us from the scene," Omar said.
The National Conference leader asserted that had his party been in power this time, the BJP-led government at New Delhi wouldn't have dared to talk about removal of Article 35-A or abrogation of J&K's special position.
"If Article 35A is being attacked today, it is only because National Conference is weak. If we would have been strong, the issue of Article 35-A won't have reached where it is today," he said.
Omar recalled that his grandfather Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah had cautioned that New Delhi's plan was to "create more and more divisions among people in Jammu and Kashmir and create leaders in every Mohalla to divide the united voice of Kashmiris."
"We are being divided in the name of regions, religions, sects and groups. Today we are seeing it," he said.
Referring to the challenge to Article 35-A, which empowers state legislature to define permanent residents of J&K, in the Supreme Court, Omar said: "Today we are facing a threat to our identity…," he said.
Omar asked his party workers to start preparations for the next Assembly elections and strengthen the party at grassroots. "If we emerge as the single largest party, then only we can work in a better way," he said.
He further told his party leaders: "Become MLAs first. Stop worrying about ministries. Let NC win first then after we should care about the ministries. We all have to start working hard for it. We have win and ensure the victory of our fellow colleagues from a next constituency."