Peoples Alliance terms ED action against Dr Farooq as ‘political vendetta’
BJP using govt agencies after failing to fight Abdullah politically: NC
Srinagar: Several constituents of the newly formed People’s Alliance, comprising mainstream political parties from Jammu and Kashmir, described Farooq Abdullah being summoned by the ED as a “witch hunt” and “political vendetta” by the Centre.
Terming it as a part of vindictive politics practiced by the Central government “to kill dissent and disagreement across the country, and in present case to silence the genuine demand for reversal of unilateral and unconstitutional decisions of August 05, 2019 and restoration of J&K status as was on the August 04, 2019,” the Alliance reminded the Central government that such tactics are not to dampen the will of the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh to have the constitutional status restored.
It stated that the Central government “unnerved by the unity amongst the people across all the regions and communities to pursue the goals of Gupkar Declaration and support extended to it by political parties and civil society groups at the national level is resorting to a game of witch-hunt and suppression.”
It urged the Government of India (GOI) to realise the dangers in this process of witch-hunting and intimidation and desist from such vindictive designs.
Dialogue with all stakeholders and restoration of special status remains the only option to address the deepening uncertainty in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, the statement adds.
Abdullah’s son and NC leader Omar Abdullah said the ED action was “…nothing less than political vendetta” and came days after the formation of the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration.
“To set the record straight no raids are being conducted at Dr Sahib’s residence,” he said on Twitter.
Other leaders spoke up too.
PDP leader and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti said the ED’s “sudden summons to Farooq sahab displays the extent of GOIs nervousness about mainstream parties in JK fighting as one unit”.
“(it) Also reeks of political vendetta and won’t in the least blunt our collective resolve to fight for our rights,” she said on Twitter.
People’s Conference leader Sajjad Gani Lone also said the move reeked of vendetta.
“What a sorry state of affairs. Dr Farooq sahib summoned by ED. Reeks of vendetta. Contrary to what they want to coercively achieve this will certainly have the opposite impact,” he tweeted.
CPIM leader M Y Tarigami tweeted: “Vindictive politics practised by Central Government to kill dissent and disagreement across the Country and in present case to silence the genuine demand for reversal of unilateral and unconstitutional decisions of 5th August 2019”.
Meanwhile, in a joint statement, several NC leaders from the Kashmir Valley, the Jammu region and the Union Territory of Ladakh condemned the “undue witch-hunt” and intimidation of Abdullah, saying the “motive” behind the summons is to deter him from representing the aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
They said the incumbent ruling dispensation in New Delhi is employing the government machinery and malevolent tactics to subdue Abdullah’s effort in forging unity among different mainstream political parties of Jammu and Kashmir.
“This government is doing everything it can to silence the combined voice of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, which Dr Sahib (Abdullah) has been able to forge. The tactics are being employed across the board in the country to stifle the voices of dissent by using all spiteful measures, the party will not duck due to such tactics,” the statement said.
The leaders condemned the treatment meted out to Abdullah, an octogenarian, the senior-most politician of Jammu and Kashmir and the Member of Parliament from Srinagar.
“Such tactics will only make us more resolute towards achieving our goal peacefully and constitutionally. The measure also reveals the jitters the present ruling dispensation is going through in the wake of the growing consensus among all mainstream political parties on the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration, headed by Dr Farooq Abdullah,” they said.
NC general secretary Ali Muhammad Sagar, provincial presidents Nasir Aslam Wani (Kashmir) and Devender Singh Rana (Jammu) and other senior leaders of the party, including those from Ladakah, were signatories to the statement.
Earlier, an NC spokesperson said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is employing government agencies to target Abdullah, after failing to fight him politically.
“The BJP, after failing to politically fight party president Farooq Abdullah, has resorted to employing its agencies for the task,” he said in a statement here.
The NC spokesperson said the ED summons to Abdullah is clearly the result of the unity the party president has been able to forge among mainstream political parties in Jammu and Kashmir in the shape of the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration.
“This is the price one faces when opposed to BJP’s ideology and divisive politics. Recent history is a witness to how the BJP has been employing coercive and intimidating measures through various departments to target opposition leaders across the country. The recent ED summons to Abdullah is a case in point,” the statement said.
The NC said the timing of the summons is very clear as the previous summons was issued just before August 05 last year, when the BJP-led Centre abrogated Article 370 of the Constitution, and this summons comes within days of the formation of the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration, of which Abdullah has taken a lead.
“Abdullah continues to maintain his innocence and will cooperate with the authorities in what is nothing but a witch-hunt,” the statement added.
Pertinently, immediately after revoking the state’s special status on August 05, a host of political leaders, including Farooq Abdullah and his son Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti, Sajad Gani Lone, were booked under the draconian Public Safety Act (PSA).
While the Abdullahs were released on different days in March this year, Mehbooba’s PSA was revoked on October 13, nearly 14 months after she was detained.
Two days after her release, on October 15, a meeting was held at the residence of Farooq Abdullah where parties, including the NC, PDP, PC, CPI-M, Awami National Conference and other smaller groups, announced the formation of the People’s Alliance which would seek restoration of special status to Jammu and Kashmir.