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4 weeks ago

Omar questions PDP’s allegiance to INDIA bloc, accuses Mufti of targeting only NC not BJP

Pahalgam: Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah has criticised the PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti, questioning her allegiance to the INDIA bloc and the PAGD, and alleging she never campaigned against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), solely targeting his National Conference.


Reiterating the unity of the Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) and its joint efforts during elections, Abdullah said the People’s Democratic Party’s decision to distance itself from the grouping was driven by self-interest rather than any ideological issue.


“There was a method that they did. As far as the PAGD is concerned, the PAGD is intact. The PAGD fought this election together, whether it was the Awami National Conference, CPI(M) and the NC, it was only the PDP that moved away,” the NC vice president told PTI.


The PAGD was formed by six parties which also included the CPI and Sajad Lone’s People’s Conference. However, Lone’s party moved away after defeat in the local body elections.


Abdullah, who kickstarted the final round of campaign in Anantnag-Rajouri seat, questioned the PDP’s stance on the BJP, highlighting the absence of any active canvassing by Mehbooba Mufti in favour of the Congress or the INDIA bloc, and against the BJP in places like Udhampur and Jammu.


“She didn’t campaign against the BJP in Udhampur, nor did she campaign in Jammu. So how can she claim to be part of the INDIA bloc? How can she claim to be against the BJP? She is only against the NC, she is not against the BJP,” Abdullah said.


The Anantnag-Rajouri seat goes to poll in the sixth phase on May 25.


Abdullah accused the PDP of fostering animosity against the NC, saying the party had been consistently criticising the NC for the past two years.


Without directly naming the PDP’s Srinagar Lok Sabha candidate Wahid Para, Abdullah pointed out that as he resumed political activities after being released from jail, his initial speeches were aimed against the National Conference, indicating a deliberate PDP strategy.


“So clearly, the PDP did that by design. There was a method that they did…For the PDP, this alliance was not about ideology, it was self-interest. They wanted a seat from the NC which they did not get. For us and for other constituents of PAGD even INDIA bloc, this was ideological.


“The PAGD was never an electoral understanding but the INDIA bloc was. I ask the PDP where is their campaign against the BJP, tell me one place where Mehbooba Mufti had gone and campaigned for the Congress or the INDIA bloc against the BJP. Nowhere,” he said.


On the Jamaat-e-Islami announcing its intention to fight elections if the ban on in it lifted, Abdullah said, “Better late than never. The Jamaat-e-Islami has been on the forefront of seeking to make JK a part of Pakistan. And this is not just now, it has been for decades, so for them now to openly say that they will contest elections as an organisation should the ban on them be revoked, I think nothing like it.”


Abdullah said the Centre should immediately revoke the ban on the Jamaat once the Model Code of Conduct is lifted so that it could field candidates with own symbol and party.


“In the past, the Jamaat has dabbled in politics and they have quietly supported different political parties and different political candidates…I believe the ban should be lifted and let them take the same oath that we take and then whatever we have to say to them and ask them to answer for, we will do that at that time,” he said.


Asked how hopeful his party was that the assembly elections would be held in September this year as per the orders of the Supreme Court, Abdullah said, “People like the prime minister (Narendra Modi) and home minister (Amit Shah) committing themselves publicly to completing this election process before the deadline of the SC expires, I like to believe and I do believe that the PM and the HM will keep their words.”


And what if the polls were delayed? He said, “If they want to fall foul of the Supreme Court, by all means, if they want to risk the contempt of SC, by all means and if they want the world to conclude that they are unreliable and untrustworthy by all means.”

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