Srinagar, Jun 26: National Conference president Dr Farooq Abdullah Saturday said that he told Prime Minister Narendera Modi in the June 24 All Party Meeting (APM) in New Delhi that the first Prime Minister of India had promised plebiscite in J&K and then another Prime Minister Narshima Rao guaranteed autonomy but nothing happened. The NC chief said there is a huge level of mistrust between New Delhi-J&K and the June 24 meeting seems to be a first step towards improving the situation and starting a political process here.
Talking to reporters at his Gupkar residence here, Dr Farooq said the June 24 meeting was held in a very cordial atmosphere in Delhi. “I didn’t meet the press as I wanted to first meet my party men and the PAGD leaders. I believe the meeting is a first step towards improving the situation and starting a political process in J&K,” the NC chief.
He was flanked by his son and NC vice-president Omar Abdullah.
“I made a statement before Modiji in June 24 meeting. I told him that the first Prime Minister of India (Pandit Jawhar Lal Nehru) had promised plebiscite to us but he backtracked and then another PM Narshima Rao guaranteed autonomy but not independence by stating sky is the limit on the floor of the house, where is that….,” Dr Farooq said. He said there is a huge level of mistrust between J&K and New Delhi. “Let’s not jump, let’s wait whether Delhi removes the mistrust. Will they continue with it, lets see,” he said. “Even Dr Karan Singh has demanded restoration of statehood, so let’s wait.”
Speaking on the occasion, Omar while replying to a query whether PAGD’s stand was undone in the meeting, said: “We were not called as an alliance. There was an invitation to party leaders like NC, PDP, and CPI (M). We didn’t state anything out of the PAGD’s agenda which is we don’t accept August 5, 2019 decision.”
Omar said that they will fight for the reversal of August 5, 2019 decision politically, constitutionally and peacefully. “No leader stated in the meeting that they accept August 5, 2019 decision. We told the meeting that people of J&K are angry and they want roll back of the decision,” he said.
Omar said now they can’t befool the people by stating that “we will get Article 370 back from PM Modi.”
“We can’t lie to people that we will get Article 370 back from those who snatched it. Not just Mehboobaji but Farooq sahib made it clear that it took BJP 70 years to scrap Article 370 and even if it takes 70 weeks or 70 months to restore it, we will fight,” he said. “PM Modi heard what we stated.”
Asked whether NC would participate in delimitation process, he said that party has authorized Dr Farooq to take a call on the participation as and when needed. “There is no fresh approach. As and when there is a fresh approach, Farooq sahib will take a view,” Omar said. When asked what the view is, he said: “Why should we tell you here…”
Omar said that Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad made it clear in the June 24 meeting that statehood first and then elections in J&K. “We will keep on stressing for the same,” he said. On many leaders told the APM meet that since Article 370 was a sub-judice and they won’t talk on the issue, Omar said Azad and Muzaffar Baig stated this. “I reiterate that we will fight for the restoration of Article 370 legally, politically and constitutionally. There is no doubt that the matter is in the Supreme Court. But the fact remains Babri masjid demolition case was also in the Supreme Court, did BJP stop talking about it?” Omar asked. To a query whether he would contest elections, Omar said he personally believes he won’t fight polls. On a senior party leader (Syed Aga Ruhullah Mehdi) has differences with the party, Omar said: “I am not going to discuss individuals here. Whatever is there, it’s between him and us.”. kno