National Conference president and MP, Dr Farooq Abdullah’s speech has created ripples in the Jammu BJP as one after another leader is out to repudiate it.
On Monday Dr. Abdullah warned that Jammu will suffer more than Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370. He said the special status of Jammu and Kashmir was envisioned by Dogra Maharaja Hari Singh when he enacted the state subject laws in 1927 to protect the culture, land, and identity of Dogras.
He said when Article 370 was revoked many people in Jammu beat drums and distributed sweets though they were warned of its consequences. He said their warnings were not heeded and they were branded Pakistanis. He said when the elections approach in Jammu and Kashmir, the mainstream regional parties are being branded Pakistanis and once elections are over, “we again become Indians”.
“We have died while taking Indian Tricolour. Thousands of our workers and leaders have sacrificed their lives for it. But when elections come we are being called Pakistanis. And when the elections are over, we are again being declared Indian. I am surprised,” Dr Abdullah said. “You have to be aware of their propaganda,” he said.
“Look what is happening after the revocation of Article 370. Your lands are going. People are coming from outside. Your son and daughter will not get jobs in the government sector,” Dr Abdullah said, addressing a function to mark International Women’s Day at the NC headquarters in Jammu.
“You (Jammu people) are at more risk of losing jobs and land. Kashmir has no such threat because they (outsiders) will fear to come there,” he said,
“They (the BJP) would say terrorism has ended. Has it? The bullets are still being fired. Even today people are getting killed. Two policemen were killed a few days ago. The terrorists have no religion. The policemen were without arms and they were killed. What will happen to their children now?” he asked.
“Haven’t market prices gone up? Haven’t petrol prices gone up? Haven’t vegetable prices gone up? Now tell me, what will a person, when he is the lone bread earner of his family, do?” he asked.
Dr Abdullah said all the promises made to the people of Jammu Kashmir proved a mirage and instead of development people have been made to lose whatever they already had. He joked about the government’s economic packages. “Where is Rs 28,000 crore they talk about? Where is that money? See the condition of the roads. Travelling on those roads will break people’s spines but they don’t care,” he added. “Where is electricity? They would say electricity will be available 24 hours. Is it?” he asked.
A day after Dr Abdullah’s speeches, the BJP said he is desperately trying to befool the people of J&K. State BJP general secretary advocate Vibodh Gupta accused the National Conference leader of using and carrying forward Sheikh Abdullah’s divide-and-rule policy for grabbing power.
“Mr Abdullah, India is our identity and no one can divide us. Post August 5, every nationalist has felt strong while the dynastic and separatist parties have lost their identities in J&K,” Gupta said.
Another senior BJP leader, Ashwani Kumar Chrungoo, said, “National Conference is an old horse responsible for hoodwinking the public and it has been its pet pastime to speak differently at different places.”
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