National Conference president Farooq Abdullah (File)
The Jammu and Kashmir BJP said Sunday that National Conference president Farooq Abdullah tried to “outsmart” the PDP by appearing to side with separatists with his threat to boycott assembly and parliamentary polls.
It claimed Abdullah was trying “all tricks” to fill the political void created by the PDP in the Valley after it had formed a coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir. The coalition collapsed in June, resulting in imposition of Governor’s rule in the state.
The comments from BJP state spokesperson Anil Gupta came in response to Abdullah’s threat yesterday that the NC may boycott the assembly and Lok Sabha polls if the Centre does not take effective steps to protect Article 35A.
Incorporated in the Constitution by a 1954 Presidential Order, Article 35A accords special rights and privileges to the citizens of Jammu and Kashmir and bars people from outside the state from acquiring any immovable property in the state. It is facing legal challenge in the Supreme Court.
“Farooq has been trying to fill the gap created by PDP after it formed the coalition government by taking on New Delhi and obliquely associating the NC with the Hurriyat.
“But now that the PDP is also trying to regain the lost turf, Farooq has tried to outsmart the PDP by a firm handshake with the separatists,” Gupta said in a statement.
He claimed that ever since Abdullah’s return from London the NC president has been trying to emerge as a “kingmaker” on Kashmir’s political scene using “all tricks at his disposal including politics of black mailing and browbeating the central government”.
In doing so, the BJP leader alleged, he has not hesitated to play the “communal” and “separatist” cards.
Gupta said a search by the NC for candidates for urban local bodies polls has failed to arouse enthusiasm among the party cadre. The NC has announced that it will not participate in the panchayat and urban local bodies (ULB) elections too.
Referring to Abdullah’s previous controversial statement that the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir was “not its (New Delhi’s) father’s property”, Gupta said Abdullah has joined hands with separatists when he announced he will not confine the boycott to local bodies’ elections but will extend it to parliamentary and state elections.
“This statement of Farooq merges firmly with the separatist ideology of boycott politics. (The founder of NC) Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah must be ruing in his grave at the type of politics being played by his son and heir Farooq,” he said.
He said the NC leader was mistaken if he believed his boycott of the polls would help him revive his party. “People have understood their game plan. They are asking difficult questions like the source of huge wealth amassed by the Abdullah’s,” Gupta said.
“The party is struggling to form the government in Kargil (where it emerged as the single largest party in the recently held Ladakh autonomous hill development council polls). NC is finding it difficult to answer these pointed questions,” Gupta said.
with the Express Morning Briefing