Asserting that the PDP-BJP coalition has lost peoples’ confidence, NC leader Omar Abdullah today alleged that the state was “suffering” due to uncertainty over PDP’s leadership, and the administration was in a dilemma as to who was in “real command”.
“On one side, Mufti Sayeed is seen working as the chief minister in Jammu and on the other (his daughter) Mehbooba Mufti is reviewing the government functioning in Srinagar as de-facto chief executive”, he said.
Omar said this amid applause at a public rally in Ramban on Srinagar-Jammu National Highway.
The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister said that “uncertainty” over leadership in the PDP has “demoralised the administration” which is in a real dilemma, as to who was in “actual command”.
“We have nothing with the internal affairs of the coalition government, or whether it is led by Mufti Mohammed Sayeed or Mehbooba Mufti, but the key point is that the state and the people are suffering”, he said.
“The tailpiece of this entire drama is that the BJP is refusing to buy the idea of Mehbooba Mufti taking over as the chief minister, covertly questioning as to who has granted such permission to the PDP”, Omar further alleged.
The former chief minister is on a five-day visit to the Chenab Valley districts of Ramban, Doda and Kishtwar.
Omar also claimed, “The PDP-BJP coalition has lost peoples’ mandate due to its vision-less policies, misgovernance of over nine months and leadership deficit. They both are destined to loose their deposits in the event of bye-polls.”
“If elections were held now, National Conference will form the government on its own, without crutches of others”, Omar said.
The National Conference’s Working President pooh-poohed the “hype” being created by the PDP-BJP combine over several issues and described the present dispensation as a “directionless and a driver-less vehicle which is clueless about its destination.”
In this context, he referred to the “open feelers” being sent by the chief minister on the change of guard.
In a lighter vein, Omar wondered over the effectiveness of Mufti Sayeed as a chief minister, while citing his long speech during the Prime Ministers’ Srinagar rally, encompassing state, national and international politics.
“The anti-climax of his political discourse was the virtual snub hurled by (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi, who minced no words in saying that he needed no advice on Kashmir”, Omar claimed.
Referring to the criticism unleashed by the PDP against the previous National Conference-Congress government led by him, Omar asked what Mufti Syed-led government has done during the past over nine months, except “owning” the projects taken up or completed during his tenure.
Omar said he was feeling a sense of pride and satisfaction when the Prime Minister came to inaugurate the projects completed during the six-years of his government.
“This is the acknowledgment of my government’s performance and answer to PDP’s unfounded criticism,” he added.
He said the commissioning of 900-MW Baghliar Project stands testimony to the efforts made by the National Conference-led government to usher the state towards progress and development. On the contrary, he said, the role of the PDP has all along been “negative”.
In this context he made a mention of a Kishtwar project, “abandoned” by the present dispensation, saying this had the potential of generating economical energy.
“Abandonment of this project depicts the PDP’s mindset which did the same to 1200-MW Sawalakote Project in 2003 that deprived Jammu and Kashmir of the much-needed power”, he said.
Omar spelled out the major initiatives like expansion of Jammu-Srinagar National Highway, which he said, his government had succeeded in getting approved by the then UPA regime.
He said similar other initiatives were set in motion to herald a new era of development in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh regions.
Giving an overview of the political scenario, the National Conference’s Working President said though his party suffered a setback during 2014 Assembly elections, yet it remains a grassroots mass movement which identifies itself as a strong bastion of the people irrespective of caste, creed or colour.
“We do not believe in divisive politics, which became very clear when Sher-e-Kashmir Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah converted Muslim Conference into National Conference”, he said adding, while enrolling new members the party asks about the personal details of the incumbent but not his region or religion.
He said being in the government or outside it does not matter at all for the National Conference which is dedicated to social harmony, peace and well being of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
He said NC would have been in the government but it opted out simply because, “we found BJP as an ideological mismatch and we have been proven right by the inherent contradictions between the two coalition partners now”.
Omar exhorted people to strengthen the National Conference at the grassroots level so that it stands like a rock against all those working at cross purposes.
“We want the state to flourish as a single entity where opportunities are available to all the three regions and people belonging to various faiths”, he added.