Jammu: The PDP-BJP coalition government has failed to address political and developmental aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, National Conference (NC) working president Omar Abdullah said on Sunday.
“Tall, stentorian promises of ‘ache din’ have amounted to ‘Ache Din’ for a chosen few in terms of their personal welfare while common people have been left to fend for themselves by a brazenly insensitive and callous dispensation,” Abdullah said, addressing a NC workers’ convention in Doda district.
He said lack of direction and political will have compounded the perception of political uncertainty in the state whereas the government should have tried to provide a hope of inclusive development, reconciliation and peace.
The former chief minister said the PDP-BJP government rather than politically engaging with the separatist leadership with an aim to address the internal dimensions of the Kashmir issue, had chosen to tread a path of isolation, arrogance and confrontation contradicting the promises made in the ‘Agenda of the Alliance’.
“Mufti (Mohammad Sayeed) Sahab’s government ordered an unprecedented crackdown on normal life and undertook hundreds of preventive arrests for organising the Prime Minister’s rally in Srinagar, where sadly the Prime Minister snubbed the Chief Minister and categorically asked him to mind his own business as his suggestions about the Kashmir issue were not required, rendering PDP and Mufti Sahab absolutely irrelevant viz-a-viz the larger political process,” Abdullah alleged.
Referring to the political and diplomatic stalemate between India and Pakistan in sorting out various issues and starting a comprehensive dialogue process, he said the gap between New Delhi and Islamabad has widened to an extent where the two countries have to choose a neutral country like Sri Lanka to play cricket.
“If we cannot have the bare minimum amount of trust and faith to participate in sporting events in each other’s country, how can we address the larger and graver political issues of contention between the two countries? These political issues need to be resolved and cannot be expected to remain in the realm of a status-quo for perpetuity,” he said.
Abdullah said the human cost of the conflict between India and Pakistan were “way too grave and serious for us to become comfortable in a status-quo arrangement and approach”.
“This would not only create an atmosphere of disillusionment with the democratic institutions but would also harm the hard-earned dividends of peace in the state.”
Terming PDP and BJP as two sides of the same coin, the former chief minister said that his apprehensions about their “clandestine understanding” were proven right when they formed the coalition government after “enacting an elaborate drama about their alleged south pole versus north pole ideological divergence” during the assembly elections.
“There is no south pole or north pole. Both PDP and BJP come from the same stock of opportunistic politics… They have reneged on every single statement they made to garner votes and have surrendered all their respective political demands for petty trappings of political power,” he said.
He wondered how BJP impetuously joined hands with PDP notwithstanding the fact Prime Minister Narendra Modi had vowed to “free” Jammu and Kashmir from the rule of both National Conference and PDP.
“However. as soon as elections ended, they came together without any inhibition or reluctance and proved the allegations of their pre-election nexus to be accurate. The pre-election rhetoric of an elected Prime Minister has never been self-debunked, belied and abandoned in such a brazen manner,” he said.
He said disenchantment among the people has reached an unprecedented level. “The sense of anti-incumbency against this present government within the very first year is much greater than the engineered, fake perception of anti-incumbency against the previous NC-led government at the culmination of entire six-year tenure,” Abdullah said.
He said regional polarisation and efforts to divide the people on the basis of their religions could have short-term political advantages for the ruling parties, Jammu and Kashmir will always stick to its legacy of inclusiveness, secularism and tolerance.
He said that those giving sermons on secularism should learn its basics from the glorious, selfless history of National Conference. “We have rendered unparalleled sacrifices for the cause of secularism and inclusiveness,” he said.
The former chief minister said that development has been pushed to back burner while public grievances were mounting unheard with each passing day.
He said Consumer Affairs & Public Distribution (CAPD) outlets lacked sufficient supplies and utility services were craving for maintenance. “The promise of 24×7 power supply has turned out to be a counter nightmare with unprecedented and unscheduled power cuts haunting the people of the state at the very onset of the winter season,” he said.
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PDP-BJP government failed to address political, developmental aspirations: Omar Abdullah
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