Jammu and Kashmir parties, including the National Conference (NC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), have reacted sharply to the speech made by Union Home Minister Amit Shah during a rally in north Kashmir’s Baramulla.
Taking exception to Mr. Shah’s remarks, where he referred to “the Abdullah and sons and Muftis and company”, former Chief Minister and NC vice-president Omar Abdullah said, “Amit Shah ji says ‘Gupkar model gave us Pulwama attack’. Just to remind everyone that the Pulwama attack happened when J&K was under Central [BJP] rule with their handpicked Satyapal Malik running the State from Raj Bhavan”.
“And if ‘Gupkar model gave guns and stones to the youth of Kashmir’ why on earth are the PM [Prime Minister] and other senior leaders inviting these ‘Gupkar leaders’ to meetings in Delhi?” he added.
Mr. Shah, in his speech, accused the NC and the PDP of driving youth towards stones and guns in Kashmir.
Senior NC leader Rattan Lal Gupta it was NC patron Farooq Abdullah who initiated the struggle for Schedule Tribe status for the Pahari community in 1983.
“The NC was expecting an employment package for the youth of J&K from the visiting Home Minister as unemployment rate has touched an all-time high and reached up to 32.75%, which is highest in the country right now,” he said.
He countered Mr. Shah’s claims on medical colleges, saying five medical colleges were sanctioned under the NC regime headed by Mr. Omar Abdullah after taking up the matter with then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. “What the HM said is factually incorrect,” he added.
Former Chief Minister and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti also reacted to Mr. Shah’s jibe at the Muftis.
“Dedicating his speech to answer my questions, HM forgets that Mufti sahab was Chief Minister for just 3.5 years and doesn’t need validation from him for his work for welfare of J&K. Even after ruling J&K directly since 2018, BJP has nothing to show except their broken record of dynastic rule,” Ms. Mufti said.