The biggest electoral gambit the coalition National Conference and Congress government headed by Omar Abdullah had taken to ride back to power was the creation of new administrative units (NAUs). Every Tom, Dick and Harry in the two parties claimed credit for the NAUs in the area, hoping to reap a rich harvest of votes.
The government had stealthily decided September 8 as the day for formally launching the NAUs. The day definitely figured high on the priority of the National Conference which has smartly taken the coalition partner, the Congress, for a ride whenever it can.
Why did the government choose September as the day of the formal launch of the NAUs. The decision is something that had been hoisted by the NC on its sulking partner, the Congress, which did not even realize that the Omar Abdullah-led NC is riding roughshod over it.
Incidentally, it was on September 8, 1982, that the founder of the NC, Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah, died in Srinagar, and Farooq Abdullah succeeded him as the Chief Minister of the State. For the NC, everything begins, and ends, with Sher-i-Kashmir. Just as everything virtually begins and ends, in the Congress, with the Nehr u-Gandhi family.
Some years ago, the NC-led government had launched an employment scheme in the state and named it after the Sher-i-Kashmir, launching the scheme on December 5, Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah’s birthday. The Congress leaders were left gaping and writhing their hands in despair by the NC. They talked in private against the NC but daring not to go in open against the dictats of Sonia Gandhi and her son, Rahul Gandhi, friends of the NC, even at the expense of their own party, the Congress!
If it was Sheikh’s birthday last time, the NC chose his death anniversary date to do this sleight of hand, and slip one on the Congress, in the garb of formally launching the NAUs. But God had other plans to take care of the NC-Congress plans!
Floods came, hit the Kashmir valley, as also vast parts of the Jammu region, with such fury that any NC plans to score one more, against the opponents, on Sheikh Abdullah’s death anniversary, have literally been washed away, and drowned.
At Hazaratbal, where Sheikh’s remains were buried, and a grand mausoleum stands not far from the grand mosque, everything is under water. The family, and those believing in Sheikh, go to the mausoleum to pay their regards. This time around, however, the grandeur is under water.
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