Article 370 was more of Congres’s legacy…’Omar Abdullah on statehood of J&K’
National Conference (NC) leader Omar Abdullah on Friday hit out at the BJP-led UT government saying that Jammu and Kashmir has not seen the days of “no assembly elections” even in the worst days of militancy.
“It has been eight years straight since the last Assembly elections were conducted in Jammu and Kashmir. This is the first time that there has been such a long gap between polls here. Such a situation never even occurred during the worst days of militancy in J-K. It was in 2014 when the last Assembly elections took place,” NC leader Omar Abdullah said addressing the media persons in J-K’s Banihal. National Conference leader Omar Abdullah on Friday joined the Bharat Jodo Yatra in Jammu and Kashmir’s Banihal.
Further, talking about the statehood of Jammu and Kashmir, its Former Chief Minister expressed his faith in the judiciary and alleged the Centre for not allowing the hearing to take place in the Supreme Court.
“I still believe that Article 370 was more of the Congress’ legacy [viraasat] than ours, but I won’t want to comment on their politics. As far as statehood is concerned , it should not have been taken from us. There was no need [jawaziyat] to turn Jammu and Kashmir into a Union Territory, but since they have done it now, we are waiting for the statehood again,” Omar Abdullah said.
He further added, “Our fight for statehood will continue through the Court and we are optimistic that the way the government [hakumat] is trying that the hearings do not take place in the Court, it shows that our case is stronger than theirs.”
The Centre, on August 5, 2019, revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and the state was bifurcated into two union territories.
Later in the conversation, Omar Abdullah also talked about Congress leader Rahul Gandhi-led Bharat Jodo Yatra and stressed that it is important for the country to stay united. He said that the message of the Bharat Jodo Yatra is equally important for J-K as well as other countries. “We also want everyone to unite here in such a way that the internal conflicts are minimised,” he added mentioning that there is a limit to democracy in the Union Territory which makes such movement of the people play more crucial role.
“As compared to other nations, there is a limit of democracy [jamuriyat] in Kashmir, and in such cases, such movement of the people (Bharat Jodo Yatra) plays a more vital role,” Abdullah said adding that people in the UT have been “very excited and enthusiastic” for the yatra. He further remained hopeful that people would gather in huge numbers on the last day of the yatra on January 30.
Expressing his opinion, Abdullah said: “I don’t think Raghul Gandhi conducted this yatra to change his image. As far as I know him, if he has led the yatra, it is because he actually wanted to unite the country and has been upset with the ongoing situation of the country. Many people here are upset with the way religious stress is being created in the country and the way by whLater in the conversation, Omar Abdullah also talked about Congress leader Rahul Gandhi-led Bharat Jodo Yatra and stressed that it is important for the country to stay united. He said that the message of the Bharat Jodo Yatra is equally important for J-K as well as other countries.
“We also want everyone to unite here in such a way that the internal conflicts are minimised,” he added mentioning that there is a limit to democracy in the Union Territory which makes such movement of the people play more crucial role.
Abdullah, then, continued with his concern for the minorities in the country and said it is for the first time that there is no Muslim Representative in either house of the Parliament.
“There is no Muslim as a Member of Parliament either in the Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha despite this large country having such a huge population of Muslims here. This is, perhaps, the first time since Independence that the Government [hakumat] of India has no representative [numainda] from a section which comprises 15 per cent of its population.”