Revoking Special Status Strained Kashmir’s Relationship with India: Omar Abdullah

Revoking Special Status Strained Kashmir's Relationship with India: Omar Abdullah

“The truth is that people in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh are not happy with the steps taken on August 5, 2019,” the National Conference Vice-President said.

National Conference Vice-President Omar Abdullah on Wednesday said the BJP government has harmed the bond between Jammu and Kashmir and the rest of the country with the abrogation of Article 370 provisions.
Reacting to Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s statement in Parliament, Mr Abdullah said the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh were not happy with the decision to revoke special status of the erstwhile state.

“There is no doubt that they did it and they have hurt sentiments of people while doing it. The promises to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 were not made by a person but by the country,” he said.

“The bond was not between a person in Delhi and Jammu and Kashmir, it was a link between a country with this state. If they think that harming this bond deserves congratulating, then let them congratulate each other. The truth is that people in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh are not happy with the steps taken on August 5, 2019,” Mr Abdullah told reporters in Pulwama, 31 km from here.

He said people will show their unhappiness with the decisions when assembly elections are held in Jammu and Kashmir.

“This was proved in Kargil (Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council polls). It was proved in DDC (District Development Council) polls and we will prove it in the Assembly elections also…,” he added.

Mr Abdullah said the delay in holding Assembly elections in the Union territory was taking Jammu and Kashmir on the path to destruction.

“People are being deprived of their right to vote since 2014. It is a strange kind of fixed match. When you ask the government, they will tell you that the Election Commission has to decide. When you ask the Election Commission, they say they will have to take a decision after consulting the government,” he added.

Responding to a debate on the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill and the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill in Parliament on Wednesday, Union Home Minister Amit Shah asserted that the Narendra Modi government has ensured that the country has only one flag and one Constitution.

On a DMK leader’s comment on heartland states that triggered a row, Mr Abdullah said he should not have said those words which have hurt sentiments of the people.

“You don’t believe in their religion but there are crores of people who believe in it. Why make fun of them? Will our brothers and sisters from Tamil Nadu be happy if someone amongst us said something like that. We should respect religious beliefs of others and we should not say anything that will hurt anyone’s religious feelings,” he said. On the defeat of Congress in the recent assembly polls, Mr Abdullah said the opposition bloc INDIA did not contest these elections.

“The results we saw, perhaps even if the INDIA alliance had contested together, there would not have been much of a difference in Chhattisgarh and MP. It is likely that the results in Rajasthan would have been different then. In such a situation, a meeting has now been called on December 16 to see how the INDIA alliance will be prepared afresh for the parliamentary polls.

“We will sit and discuss, we will hear from the Congress and see whether they feel they committed a mistake,” he added.

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