Leaders of the People’s Alliance in Jammu and Kashmir attacked and ridiculed Union Home Minister Amit Shah over his allegation that they are involved in getting “foreign forces to intervene” into the scrapping of Article 370 and bringing back “terror and turmoil”. Both Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti — arch-rivals who came together to fight for the restoration of special status — suggested the minister was upset at the prospect of a contest with the local powers during elections.
Ms Mufti tweeted that making such allegations does not suit the BJP. “Irony died a million deaths since its BJP itself that violates the constitution day in & day out,” her tweet read.
“I can understand the frustration behind this attack by the Hon’ble Home Minister. He had been briefed that the People’s Alliance was preparing to boycott elections. This would have allowed the BJP & newly formed King’s party a free run in J&K. We didn’t oblige them,” tweeted former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.
I can understand the frustration behind this attack by the Hon’ble Home Minister. He had been briefed that the People’s Alliance was preparing to boycott elections. This would have allowed the BJP & newly formed King’s party a free run in J&K. We didn’t oblige them. https://t.co/OrLBPAIFVn
— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) November 17, 2020
“Only in J&K can leaders be detained & called anti-national for participating in elections & supporting the democratic process. The truth is all those who oppose the ideology of the BJP are labelled “corrupt & anti-national”,” another of his tweets read.
Ms Mufti concurred. “Fighting elections in an alliance is also anti-national now. BJP can stitch as many alliances in its hunger for power but somehow we are undermining national interest by putting up a united front,” another of her three tweets read.
Accusing the BJP of using “stale tactic of dividing India” she said “Love jihad, tukde tukde & now Gupkar Gang dominates the political discourse instead of like rising unemployment & inflation”.
Over the years, Mehbooba Mufti’s People’s Democratic Party and the National Conference have maintained a firm grip on the Kashmir Valley. The BJP had a strong presence only in Jammu.
Elections have not been held in Jammu and Kashmir since the BJP ended its alliance with Ms Mufti’s PDP in June 2018, which has hugely upset the political parties in the state.
There was expectation that the elections will be held with last year’s general elections, but the Election Commission had refused, citing the law and order issues in the state, which was under Governor’s Rule.
In August, the Centre scrapped the special status of the state granted under the Constitution and bifurcated it into two Union Territories. As one of the preventive measures taken to stop backlash, hundreds of political leaders across Jammu and Kashmir, were taken into custody.
Omar Abdullah and his father Farooq Abdullah were released ahead of the lockdown. Mehbooba Mufti was released last month.
The “People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration” was later formed to fight for the restoration of Article 370 and a resolution to Kashmir. The alliance has now decided to contest the elections.
Earlier today, Union Minister Amit Shah had hit out at the political parties of Jammu and Kashmir and the Congress.
“Congress and the Gupkar Gang want to take J&K back to the era of terror and turmoil. They want to take away rights of Dalits, women and tribals that we have ensured by removing Article 370. This is why they’re being rejected by the people everywhere,” his tweet read.