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NC slams Azad for claiming Abdullahs were consulted before abrogation of Article 370

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Srinagar: The National Conference hit out at former chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad on Monday for his comments that NC chief Farooq Abdullah and his son, Omar Abdullah, were consulted before the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution, saying he has “stooped so low” by making “baseless and senseless allegations”.

Farooq Abdullah, who is the Lok Sabha MP from Srinagar, said it was a sad day to see “Azad stooping so low in his political utterances only to remain in the political circuit. A leader like him should not be circulating what he himself has termed gossip”.

The veteran leader, who has been the chief minister of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir thrice, reminded Azad about the support he got from the NC to win his Rajya Sabha seat in 2015.

Azad gave an interview to a private television channel and claimed that NC leaders seek time with leaders in Delhi after 11 pm, which raises suspicion in the minds of people.

He also said there was a gossip in Delhi in 2019 that the Abdullahs had prior information that the provisions of Article 370 would be abrogated and that they were detained in accordance with their own wish.

Azad also accused Farooq Abdullah of playing the religion card to woo Hindu votes by visiting temples and singing “bhajans”.

The interview was aired on Monday.

Farooq Abdullah asserted that the NC has stood and will always stand for secularism and said it was time Azad explained the real reason for breaking away from the Congress and forming his own party in Jammu and Kashmir.

“He has to clarify actually which side of the fence he was on. He has been enjoying every perk even after ceasing to be a member of the Rajya Sabha. The question is, how?” the NC leader asked.

The former Union minister said he, along with several other leaders, held a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of the Centre’s August 5, 2019 decision to revoke Jammu and Kashmir’s special status.

“Whatever we have to do, we do it in broad daylight. Why should one ask for time at night…?” Abdullah asked and described Azad’s statement as childish and laughable.

Taking to X, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah said: “Wah bhai wah Ghulam Nabi Azad, so much bile today. Where is the Ghulam that was begging us for Rajya Sabha seats in J&K as recently as 2015?

“‘Abdullahs knew about 370’ yet we were detained for more than 8 months including under PSA and you were free, the only ex CM in J&K free after 5th Aug,” he said in a post on X.

The NC vice-president chided the former Congress leader, pointing out that his father, Farooq Abdullah, was evacuated from a government bungalow when he was not an MP.

“‘Abdullahs meet secretly’ yet my father is the one thrown out of his government house when he wasn’t MP and you are allowed to keep your ministerial bungalow?

“‘Abdullahs say one thing in Kashmir and another in Delhi’ yet PM cries for you in Rajya Sabha and criticises us in every speech. Let’s not forget the Padma award for which you agreed to leave Congress and help BJP in Chenab valley. Who is azad and who is ghulam, time will tell and people will decide,” he said.

Reacting to Omar Abdullah’s post on X and taking a jibe at Azad, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said: “Did you seriously expect anything else from him? He is an absolute disgrace — actually, always has been!”

On August 05, 2019, the BJP-led Centre abrogated the provisions of Article 370, which gave a special status to Jammu and Kashmir, and bifurcated the erstwhile state into the Union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

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