‘NC responsible for death and destruction’ : Sajjad Lone

INDIA KASHMIR PRESS CONFERENCE
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National Conference is responsible for death and destruction in Kashmir, the Peoples Conference chairman Sajad Gani Lone said on Tuesday, day after NC vice-president Omar Abdullah alleged that Lone’s party was among parties which “destroyed” the state.

Addressing a series of meetings in Kangan, Lone said that NC has

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nothing to showcase apart from stolen elections, being Delhi’s ambassador in Kashmir and thousands of dead bodies, according to a PC statement issued here.

“At the core of every misery, every exploitation inflicted upon the Kashmiri nation since 1975 one can find an Abdullah linkage. From bartering our wazir-e-azam and sadr-e-riyasat for a toothless CM to enacting PSA (1977) as a means of purging the opposition especially the Jamaat-e-Islami, NC has betrayed Kashmiris at every critical juncture of history,” he said.

Lone said the 1987 rigging by NC became the immediate trigger for the violence that has gripped the state and devoured one lakh lives, the statement read.

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“As if that wasn’t enough, in another bloody deal, the Abdullahs partnered with the Ikhwanis in 1996 to ensure another grab of power at the altar of yet-another generation of Kashmiris’ blood. In the deal, NC offered political rewards to dreaded Ikhwanis for their facilitation in acquiring power for the Abdullahs,” Lone alleged.

“During 1996-2002, Farooq Abdullah encouraged the ‘chit system’ wherein a name was scribbled on a chit for elimination given to Ikhwan. The orders would come directly from the CM office. Farooq Abdullah, who parades himself as a gentle old man is in fact a white collar killer,” he alleged.

Appealing to the people of Srinagar-Budgam constituency to vote for PC candidate Irfan Reza Ansari, Lone said the “curse of changelessness has to go and for that the people will have to make a decision”.

“PC will offer a generational change and a system of governance in tune with today’s realities and challenges,” he said.

“The NC has ruled for decades since 1975. What can they showcase as their distinctive achievement? Nothing, apart from stolen elections, being Delhi’s ambassador in Kashmir, thousands of dead bodies. The systems of the bygone era cannot help us confront the current challenges staring at our faces,” he said.

Lone said the “tried, tested and failed leaders, known for their dismal track records, are responsible for the death and destruction in Kashmir”.

“I was in school when Farooq sahib was a parliament member and then a chief minister, the same Rather sahib was the finance minister, the same Mubarak Gul sahib, the same Shafi Uri sahib, the same Akbar Lone sahib. I was a school boy then and a middle aged man now.

The same set of people oversaw the slow death of the Dal Lake, the same people oversaw deforestation, the same people destroyed our education sector, the same people destroyed our health service, the same people ensured governance in an archaic set of laws, the same people stole elections, the same people thrust gun on to the peaceful Kashmiris, the same people robbed us of our special status. And the same people have the audacity to come and seek votes,” Lone said, according to the statement.

Stressing on the “need for change”, he said this election is “not a test of the politicians but a test of the people”.

“Will the same people aspire to rule us?  The option is all too easy to decipher. Either the deadwood goes or we as people will be rendered deadwood. We all deserve a change and it is the people who can bring about a change. We deserve a chance and with all humility. Farooq sahib has been an outstanding non-deliverer. And if we reward and incentivise non-deliverers, what would be the incentive for delivery?” he asked.

Lone promised that his party will “fill all government vacancies in six months, if they come in power”.

“Give us a chance. We appeal to the youth we don’t promise the unachievable. If we come to power, we will fill all the government vacancies in six months.

Do the youth of Kashmir know that about 40,000 vacancies in the government sector are unfilled? And the recruitment agencies will take a decade to fill them.

We have newer ideas. We propose to have two or three general examinations in a year and these examinations will cover all the vacant posts, rather than having dozens of examinations. And based on merit, the candidates will fill the vacant posts. Merit will prevail,” he said.

Rejecting Farooq Abdullah’s claim that he asked him to “sit with the BJP”, Lone said he has never met or called Farooq Abdullah in the last decade.

“Farooq sahib may kindly tell us when have I ever met him or called him in the last decade? He is either lying or age is catching up with him. I want to make it unambiguously clear that I have never met or called Farooq sahib. We were in the plane together and not on the same row and that was when Mufti sahib died.

While de-planing and en-route to the airport lounge, Farooq sahib did whisper something into my ear. It was a one-way conversation. He spoke and I heard.  And given that was a private conversation, I won’t embarrass him by making it public,” he said.

On Omar Abdullah’s “continued silence over his meetings with the BJP leadership post 2014 Assembly elections”, Lone yet again asked Omar “to give a clear answer”.

“Omar’s continued silence on having met the top BJP leadership is quite damning. While he has a knack of commentating on everything under the sun, the one answer the people of Kashmir demand from him is not forthcoming.

Why is Omar Abdullah hiding behind the wall of silence? If he has nothing to hide, then he should make public the events that followed the 2014 Assembly polls and let the people of Kashmir decide whether he is the ‘sole warrior’ against the BJP or a ‘BJP reject’ and a fit case of sour grapes,” the statement quoted Lone as having said.

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