JAMMU: National Conference Vice President and former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Monday dared BJP to declare its chief ministerial candidate for Jammu and Kashmir ahead of elections to Legislative Assembly, saying it had lost face and credibility among people of Jammu by indulging in rhetoric and false claims, a statement issued here said.
“The BJPs bravado to have its own chief minister from Jammu fell flat twice, first by stitching alliance with 28-member PDP in 2015 and later while unsuccessfully attempting to form the government by surrendering before a party with two MLAs from North Kashmir”, Omar Abdullah said while addressing NC District and Block Presidents and Secretaries of the Jammu region at Sher-e-Kashmir Bhavan this afternoon.
Senior party functionaries and leaders also attended the convention.
The NC Vice President slammed the BJP for threatening senior MLAs of NIA and CBI action against them in a bid to buy their support before dissolution of the assembly. This too did not work for them. The reports were substantiated by the statement issued by the Governor about horse-trading in the State, he said, adding that the BJP’s overt and covert attempts were assault on democracy.
“With which face the BJP will now go to the electors of Jammu in upcoming elections, who know that after seeking their mandate they will again fall in the trap and lap of a few MLAs from Kashmir to share the power”, Omar Abdullah said, hoping that the sagacious voters of Jammu will show them their place for having deceived them during nearly three and half years of misgovernance– full of corruption, chaos and mess.
The NC Vice President said the BJP was rattled over imminent defeat and rejection by the people of Jammu and was in the look out of alibis on security front to have the elections delayed. “How can the situation be conducive for holding the ULB and ongoing Panchayat polls with minimal voter participation in many areas and not the assembly elections”, he asked, saying the same BJP will find the situation quite right when it comes to elections to Lok Sabha. He called for early elections and handing over the reins of governance to people, the statement said.
Referring to NC support to PDP and Congress before the dissolution of assembly, Omar Abdullah said this was a hard decision that had been taken in the larger interests of the state and the people, as the proposed BJP partnered government would have indulged in weakening the constitutional position of Jammu and Kashmir and dividing its people on the basis of region and religion. He said those who claimed coming together of the three parties at the behest of Pakistan had to eat up their own words. In a lighter vein, he rubbished the claims about government formation decision having been taken at Dubai or London and said the people know well who staked the claim for formation of government from London. He said the BJP has let down Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and referred to the resignation of the MP from Leh in protest against false promises made with the people of Ladakh region.
Omar Abdulah exhorted the cadre to gear up for elections, saying National Conference will go alone without forging any alliance. He said a single party government alone can meet the challenges confronted to the state, adding that his party will give a strong and stable government at the strength of the peoples’ massive support and NC’s presence in every nook and corner of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. He also urged the workers not to go on rumours of rotation of reserved seats in the Jammu region, as the Governor had assured the party delegation recently about no such move under the consideration of the government.
Exuding confidence about massive victory, the NC Vice President said Jammu and Ladakh will have to hugely contribute to the strength of National Conference in giving a responsive and accountable government.
Omar Abdullah said the process for selection of candidates has begun and the National Conference will plunge into elections with two pronged strategy. First, to expose the PDP-BJP government’s failure on all fronts and, second to spell out the priorities of the party in heralding peace and ensuring fast track development. He said National Conference has a track record of public service and it has never played with the sentiments of the people, unlike the BJP by generating passions on regional and religious issues, the statement added.
On the BJP’s communal plank, the National Conference Vice President said that an atmosphere of fear and mistrust is being created across the country. He said passions are being generated over the issue of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya before the general elections.
The Convention was also addressed by NC General Secretary Ali Mohammed Sagar, Additional General Secretary Dr Sheikh Mustafa Kamal and Provincial President Mr Devender Singh Rana.
General Secretary Sagar lambasted BJP for making frivolous allegations against the NC, saying this is a mass movement that has given more than 5,000 sacrifices during the past three decades. He said National Conference alone can bring peace and normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir and ensure its progress and development by providing equal opportunities to the people of all the regions and sub-regions.
Dr Sheikh Mustafra Kamal cautioned against the machinations of divisive forces, saying attempts were being made to trifurcate the state. “We have to maintain vigil against all such sinister machinations”, he added.
Provincial President Rana said that Jammu and Kashmir was at the cross-roads of its history and the National Conference under the leadership of Dr Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah alone can steer out of the morass. He assailed the BJP for playing communal card ahead of elections and said this was aimed at polarizing the situation for petty votes.
Besides former ministers and legislators, senior National Conference leaders including and heads of various wings of the party were present in the convention.
On the occasion, senior Congress leader and former MLA Mrs Swaran Lata joined the National Conference.
Welcoming Mrs Lata in the party fold, Mr Omar Abdullah hoped that she will contribute towards peace and development of the state, having the rich experience as Vice Chairperson of a Corporation during his tenure as Chief Minister.
The National Conference President met several party delegations from various districts of the Jammu region.