Says National Conference association with UPA is firm and irreversible

The ruling National Conference’s (NC) acting president and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Sunday alleged that Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was “in nexus with Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to grab the power through illegitimate means in Jammu & Kashmir.”

While addressing a public meeting in the opposition PDP’s stronghold at Kellar, in Shopian district of South Kashmir, Mr. Abdullah asserted that there was a discernible chemistry between the PDP and the BJP. He said the two political outfits of “communal orientation” had an eye on the power in J&K and both had stakes in a communal divide ahead of the next year’s Lok Sabha and Assembly elections. He cautioned the NC cadres against the communal forces’ attempts to subvert peace and tranquillity.

“There’s definitely a hidden contact between the PDP and the BJP. Mufti Sayeed’s secret meetings with the close associates of Lal Krishna Advani and his close contact with Narendra Modi has surfaced and exposed the PDP’s ideology and strategy,” Mr. Abdullah asserted. “They are running with the deer and hunting with the hound. But take it from me today their boat is destined to sink under the weight of this party’s own duplicity and hypocrisy.”

Mr. Abdullah referred to the two elections in the State’s Legislative Council in the last nearly five years of his regime and claimed that the members of the BJP, Kashmir-based PDP and Jammu-based National Panthers Party had voted for common candidates.

For the second time in a week, Mr. Abdullah pledged that the NC’s friendship and association with the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance coalition at the Centre was firm and irreversible.

He referred to one of Mr. Sayeed’s purported statements in the recent past and said the NC would never ask the electorate to return 40 seats in the State Legislative Assembly “for resolving the Kashmir problem.” “I have been saying it since day one of the campaigning in 2008 that the Assembly and the Lok Sabha elections have got to do nothing with resolution of the Kashmir problem. This is essentially a political problem that needs a political resolution to the satisfaction of all the stakeholders,” Mr. Abdullah said.

He asserted that the 24-year-long militancy in the State was “purely political” and claimed that the Kashmiri youth had not picked up the gun for elections, development, employment or governance. He implored the separatist leadership to “shun rigidity” and respond favourably to the Centre’s offer of an unconditional dialogue and peace process.

“There are no other options left. Violence definitely is not the way-out,” Mr. Abdullah said.

Meanwhile, addressing a rally at Mendhar in Jammu on Sunday, Mr. Abdullah’s confidante and the NC’s Jammu chief Devender Singh Rana said: “Mufti Sayeed is using a former Director of IB, who advises the BJP on security matters, a women social activist running an NGO and close to Mehbooba Mufti, and a Delhi-based senior journalist who happens to be Mufti’s close friend, as conduits between the PDP and the BJP. Snubbed by the Congress, the PDP is now building bridges with the BJP.”