Create conducive atmosphere for assembly polls: Omar to Governor

Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah Tuesday asked the governor Satya Pal Malik not to “meddle” with politics and instead “concentrate on creating a conducive atmosphere for assembly elections” in the state.
Create conducive atmosphere for assembly polls: Omar to Governor
Photo: Mir Waseem/GK

Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah Tuesday asked the governor Satya Pal Malik not to "meddle" with politics and instead "concentrate on creating a conducive atmosphere for assembly elections" in the state.

"We stayed away from panchayat and urban local body elections but then its results were for everyone to see. Nobody knows who are their councillors and ward members. The candidates filed their nomination papers in police camps, votes were cast there and elections officers declared them winners there only.  Few candidates came from Delhi, some from Jammu and others from Udhampur. So, a sarpanch who does not stay with you, how would you expect him to work for the people," Omar said, addressing party workers in the restive Kulgam district in southern Kashmir.

"That is why we ask governor sahib to hand over the government back to people. The decisions taken in the dark are not in the interests of people. You are only a caretaker and have no business to interfere in politics. Politics we will do ourselves.  Your only responsibility is to create an atmosphere so that people will once again get an opportunity to decide their own future."

Omar also accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of trying to delay the assembly elections in J&K.

"BJP and its friends are moving around in New Delhi to press for deferring the (assembly) elections. They are quite aware of the fact that if elections are held in time, they are certainly going to lose," he said.

Omar termed PDP president Mehbooba Mufti's apology over 2016 civilian killings and over her 'toffee and milk remark' as a "mere drama".

"Had she apologised in 2016 only, I would have appreciated her. Even if she had done the same in 2017 or 2018, I still would have understood it. But apologising only after being out of power is nothing but a drama to hoodwink the people," he said.

On governor's remark that there is no 'operation all-out' in Kashmir, Omar said people are now confused as "on one hand we listen to (words like) operation all out from the army and on the other, we hear from the governor that there was no such operation."

"We will never support such operation where the people will suffer the most. The crackdowns, killings or excesses, whatever you will name them, even then also we won't support such operations," Omar said.

He said that it needed to be understood what was forcing youth to take to militancy.

 "We would like to understand these things and would try to address them accordingly," Omar added.

Meanwhile, Omar said coalition governments in Jammu and Kashmir have proved detrimental to the state's interests and called for a "strong, single-mandated government to carry forward the agenda of peace, development and reconciliation".

Addressing a gathering of National Conference workers in Chawalgam area of southern Kulgam district, Omar said: "It would be good for a state like J&K to have a strong-mandated government, which has an ideologically-defined position and a vested interest in protecting the state's position and giving honest governance".

"A decisive leadership is what will salvage the state from tumultuous times, and guard the special position against the onslaught of those who are contriving hard to destroy it," he said, according to a National Conference statement issued here.

People bear testimony as to how the Peoples Democratic Party "bared all insults of the Bharatiya Janata Party bold-facedly for the sake of power. People do remember how Prime Minister Narendra Modi publicly rebuffed late Mufti Muhammad Sayeed by retorting in strong words that 'on Kashmir, I don't need anyone's advice or analysis'. However, PDP owing to its enchantment for power tossed down the earth-shattering insult patently."

"Given the fact that she (Mehbooba Mufti) had to make a plethora of compromises, she should be the last person to speak in favour of a coalition," Omar said, adding that coalition governments have "proven indecisive towards rising up to the aspirations of the people".

"The former PDP-BJP government was no different. Perhaps the amount of anarchy that prevailed in the former BJP-PDP led government was much higher, however the lust for power kept them together for a while," he said, adding that after having two unsuccessful coalitions to her credit Mehbooba Mufti is "cheekily vouching for the same".

"Her last coalition misadventure again proved detrimental for the state. She however stuck to it ingesting all insults to save her chair," he said.  

Omar said the "kind of havoc that Muftis bequeathed the state while in government with BJP is alive in the explicit memories of the people. This time the people of the state should make it a point to have a strong mandated government in place which could undo the imprudent policies of former BJP-PDP government."

"The wave which PDP and BJP kept harping on in 2014 turned out to be a tsunami for the people of the state," he said.

"Our state is beset with issues like an attack on its identity, development deficit and non-existence of any reconciliation and rapprochement policy. The special needs of the state necessitate for a strong government that could satiate the aspirations of the people of the state," he said.

Omar impressed upon the party functionaries and workers to "work tirelessly towards having a strong government of National Conference".

Later while talking to reporters, Omar said had his party and former J&K chief minister Farooq Abdullah not contested 1996 election in the state, "then the notorious militant-turned renegade Kuka Parray would have been chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir".

"Nobody can deny this or even I can't prove it, this is my belief that if Farooq Sahab and NC would not have contested 1996 elections then Kuka Parray would have been J&K CM. Whether anybody accepts this or not it is up to them," Omar said.

He also said that it is for IAS officer Shah Faesal to decide where he wants to go now after quitting his job.

"It's his choice now where to go. If he wants to join NC then definitely we will discuss it. As Shah Faesal has quit his service for the people of Kashmir, now it is he who has to decide how to work for the people," he said.

He hoped that southern Kashmir would give his party another chance in the next assembly elections.

Criticising the governor for his remark that there is no 'Operation All-out' in Kashmir, Omar said people are now confused as "on one hand we listen to (words like) operation all out from the army and on the other, we hear from the governor that there was no such operation."

"We will never support such operation where the people will suffer the most. The crackdowns, killings or excesses, whatever you will name them, even then also we won't support such operations," Omar said.

He said that it needed to be understood what was forcing youth to take to militancy.

"We would like to understand these things and would try to address them accordingly," Omar added.

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