Mehbooba, Omar hit back at Amit Shah over his ‘Gupkar Gang’ remarks
Srinagar: Former Jammu and Kashmir chief ministers and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday hit back at Union Home Minister Amit Shah over his ‘Gupkar Gang’ remarks, saying such comments were aimed at diverting people’s attention from rising unemployment and inflation.
Mehbooba said the “BJP’s stale tactic of dividing India by projecting themselves as saviours and political opponents as internal and imagined enemies is far too predictable now.”
“Love jihad, tukde tukde and now Gupkar Gang dominates the political discourse instead of (issues) like rising unemployment and inflation,” she said.
The PDP chief also wondered whether fighting elections in an alliance is also anti-national now.
“BJP can stitch as many alliances in its hunger for power but somehow we are undermining national interest by putting up a united front,” she said.
“Old habits die hard. Earlier BJP’s narrative was that the tukde tukde gang threatened India’s sovereignty and they are now using ‘Gupkar Gang’ euphemism to project us as anti-nationals. Irony died a million deaths since it’s BJP itself that violates the constitution day in and day out,” she tweeted.
She was reacting to a series of tweets by Shah calling the alliance of political parties in Jammu and Kashmir as ‘Gupkar Gang’.
National Conference vice-president and former chief minister Omar Abdullah also reacted sharply on Shah’s remarks, and said the frustration stems from the political amalgam deciding to contest the forthcoming local body elections and not giving the BJP and its allies a free run.
Reacting to a series of tweets by Shah, Omar, said, “We are not a gang Amit Shah Ji, we are legitimate political alliance having fought and continuing to fight election, much to your disappointment.”
Taking a veiled dig at the newly formed Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party, Omar said, “I can understand the frustration behind this attack by the Hon’ble Home Minister. He had been briefed that the People’s Alliance was preparing to boycott elections. This would have allowed the BJP and newly formed King’s party a free run in J&K. We didn’t oblige them.”
He said that only leaders in Jammu and Kashmir can be detained and called anti-national for participating in elections and supporting the democratic process.
“The truth is all those who oppose the ideology of the BJP are labelled ‘corrupt and anti-national’,” he tweeted.
Meanwhile, several NC leaders, in a joint statement here said that supporting the democratic process and consequently blocking the BJP and stopping its newly formed “King’s party” from having a free run in J&K has irked Home Minister Amit Shah.
“Seeing imminent drubbing in the DDC elections and having been snatched of the biggest propaganda tool,” the leaders said the assertions made by the Home minister were quite anticipated.
Participating in democratic process may be a job of ‘gangs’ for BJP but for us it is a sacred. The consensus & unity of political parties in J&K has unnerved the BJP. We will fight for the restoration of constitutional rights irrespective of what authoritarian regime calls us.
“Amit Shah has woken up late in the day to attack the PAGD. It seems that contesting elections in Jammu & Kashmir is a crime and is unconstitutional. The frustration on his part is quite understandable because the BJP and its newly constituted team B in J&K (an oblique reference to Apni Party) were quite certain that PAGD will boycott the elections and allow them a free run K. They were in the process of launching a vicious campaign against us. However, we have taken a big propaganda tool away from them by participating in the elections and above all fighting them as an alliance. This is what has sent him (Shah) into tizzy,” they said.
The leaders further added that it was only in J&K that the people who participate in elections and support a democratic process are referred to as anti-nationals.
“Those who oppose the BJP are labeled as corrupt, and anti-nationals. It is perhaps for the first time in the post-independence history of the country that people who are contesting elections and showing respect for the democratic process are treated with such disdain,” they added.
The joint statement also said that the constituent parties of PAGD aren’t a “gang” but a group of political parties who have all through nurtured the frail sapling of democracy in Jammu and Kashmir by putting their lives on stake.
“We all have fought elections and will continue to do so; we won’t allow pliant stooges and minions of BJP to grab the sacred democratic space and profit from the poll boycott,” they added.
They said that none of the government’s action has redeeming qualities and running a malicious campaign against the PAGD won’t help achieve anything.