Geelani, Muftis helping BJP in J&K, says Omar Abdullah
by Hari Om on 06 Sep 2014 4 Comments

The prospect of the BJP putting up a good show in the upcoming assembly elections in Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) has completely upset Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, also the working president of the National Conference (NC). The growing popularity and acceptability of the BJP in all three regions of the state – Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh – has unnerved and alarmed him to the extent that he has apparently lost control over his tongue. “We won’t allow them (BJP and RSS) to sneak into Kashmir politics; it won’t be Kashmir for them,” he said, as if Kashmir is his personal fiefdom and BJP an alien political presence.


The NC working president is accusing the Kashmir-based Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of flirting with the BJP to help it achieve its ‘Mission 44+’ at the cost of the Kashmir cause. “I am sure that the PDP has got the money they are spending to woo voters. If they will give you (Kashmiri Muslim) money, take it,” he says, in a manner reminiscent of the anarchist Arvind Kejriwal of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) during the Delhi assembly elections and the 2014 general election.


Abdullah tells Kashmiri Muslims that while the PDP bulldozed shops during their regime (November 2002 to 2005) without thinking of what would happen to the “poor” shopkeepers, the NC has been using bulldozers to “raze the bunkers of forces to the ground”. In Srinagar city alone, the NC bulldozed 50 bunkers, he repeatedly informs his communal constituency in a desperate bid to improve the poll prospects of his thoroughly unpopular party, which drew a blank in the Lok Sabha election and could poll a paltry 9 per cent of the total popular votes polled. 


Omar Abdullah does not stop there. He accuses the PDP of abandoning its (divisive) self-rule agenda and discarding its (militant and separatist friendly) healing touch doctrine and asking the PDP leaders (Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and his daughter Mehbooba Mufti) to “take oath on holy Quran and make it public that they have no relation with the BJP”. It needs to be underscored that the BJP and the PDP are poles apart and there is absolutely nothing remotely common between the two. In fact, the BJP considers both the NC and the PDP a threat to national unity, as both are rabidly anti-Indian Constitution and anti-minorities.


Significantly, Omar Abdullah has suddenly developed some kind of ill-will for hardcore pro-Pakistan separatist Syed Ali Shah Geelani. He claims Geelani is pursuing a line that has the potential of helping the BJP establish a foothold in the Valley and creating a situation that would enable Nagpur (RSS headquarters) or Jhandewalan (Delhi) play or pull strings in the Valley. “They (BJP and RSS) are banking on boycott in Habba Kadal, Amira Kadal, Sopre, Anantnag, Bijbehara, Khanyar and a few more assembly constituencies to make their entry into Kashmir politics”, and “believe (me) these are the seats they can have in their kitty,” he proclaims publicly. “These constituencies observe boycott on the separatists’ call. Geelani should understand who the real beneficiaries of his boycott call are. It is the BJP, the PDP and the RSS who benefit from the poll boycott,” he insists.


The Chief Minister criticises Syed Geelani on grounds that his boycott call will not help resolve the Kashmir issue nor would it help his separatist cause; he should take note of the BJP slogan “Dilli Huyi Hamari, Ab Kashmir Ki Bari” to understand the intentions of the BJP and the RSS. The bottom line of his attack on Geelani is that the latter must desist from giving boycott calls, failing which “Kashmir would be “controlled” by Nagpur and Jhandewalan and he would be disillusioned.


Habba Kadal, Amira Kadal, Sopre, Anantnag, Bijbehara and Khanyar are assembly constituencies where the internally-displaced Kashmiri Hindus can tilt the balance in favour of the BJP if they vote en-block for this party. The voter turn-out in these constituencies has been consistently low since 1987, when the secessionist violence engulfed the Kashmir Valley.


It would not be out of place to mention here that the BJP this time is not only fielding candidates in all 41 constituencies in Jammu province and Ladakh, where its chances seem bright, but also in Kashmir, where many Muslims of some consequence have joined the party after Narendra Modi became Prime minister. Over the past two months, Kashmir has witnessed a number of impressive BJP activities, some in the heart of Srinagar city itself, and the activities are gaining more and more momentum with each passing day. On August 30, 24 “important” Kashmiri Muslims joined the BJP in Srinagar.


Several Kashmir-based political pundits have recognised the growing popularity of the BJP. Thus, Suhail Ahmad, in his “Can Amit shah deliver Kashmir for BJP?” (Rising Kashmir, Aug 23), wrote:  “It would be too naïve to speculate that the fear of BJP coming to power, even if as part of an alliance, may prompt Kashmiri Muslims to come out and vote just to keep the right-wing party at bay. Nevertheless, the threat cannot be ruled out completely. Till sometime back, it would have seemed unthinkable that BJP can pose any challenge to NC, PDP and Congress. But given its sweeping success in Lok Sabha elections, the party has indeed emerged as a force to reckon with…”


All this should explain the current political situation in the state in general and Kashmir Valley in particular. The nervousness on the part of the Chief Minister and his party has to be viewed in this context.  

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