Sri Krishen Kaw
JAMMU: Notwithstanding the decision of August 5, 2019 when the Central Government abrogated Article 370 and 35A and bifurcated the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories, separating Ladakh region, National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah took a dig at Centre and Bharatiya Janata Party that Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) polls proved that the people of Kargil did not withstand the decision that was taken by the BJP government at the Centre, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, In the Parliament of India on August 5, 2019, during a media interaction soon after the result of the LAHDC polls were declared and National Conference emerged as the single largest party with 12 seats in its kitty.
While addressing the press conference, NC vice president hailed the role of leaders and party workers for thumping victory in Ladakh, termed it an eye-opener for those who escape from holding elections in Jammu & Kashmir for one excuse or the other. He said Chief Election Commission was asked as to why the poll process is not being initiated in J&K, and in return, their reply was that the decision on this will be taken at an appropriate time after considering all the factors, but Omar continued to say that we can understand that there was no other factor than the ‘fear factor’ and BJP factor’ which compels them to make unnecessary delays to conduct the elections in Jammu & Kashmir because BJP earlier used to hide itself behind the Raj Bhawan and now behind the CEC, Omar added.
Our party National Conference has been ready for holding elections in Jammu and Kashmir right from the beginning, but BJP delays it for one pretext or the other. Basically, BJP is scared, cannot face the people in elections. It acclaimed not in the country only but globally also it tried to give an impression that the decision of dividing the state of Jammu & Kashmir into two UTs besides separating Ladakh region from J&K was a long-pending demand of the people which was fulfilled and celebrated with huge enthusiasm, but it was a matter of grave concern for the people of Kashmir, Jammu as well as people of Ladakh equally did not like it, so the LAHDC poll verdict significantly proved that the people of Kargil (Ladakh) were unlikely withstanding with the decision taken by the Government at Centre on Aug 5, Omar further added.
BJP separated Ladakh region from Jammu and Kashmir on religious lines considering it a Bodh majority area while the fact remains that Ladakh is a Muslim majority state though the Bodh community is also in large numbers living there. National Conference cannot be questioned for allegedly obtaining votes on religious lines as Ladakh was a Muslim majority region; had it been so, then how could their one councilor hailing from Bodh community from Padam area have won the seat, asserted Omar during the press conference. Years have gone by, but the Government has failed to take a call on elections in J&K. Though on the part of the Government during the proceedings on abrogation of Article 370 & 35A, honorable Supreme Court of India was told that preparations for holding Panchayati and Urban Local Bodies elections were afoot but the recent report of Home Ministry deferred it for security reasons.
I, personally do not have any regrets for BJP, though it is a political party and considers gains and losses for itself but I definitely would like to express my heartburn to Chief Election Commission of J&K and in particular to Election Commission of India that they should not act on the tunes of BJP though being independent agencies and there is not prevailing any fear factor in Jammu & Kashmir other than the BJP factor to conduct polls, Omar maintained, adding I think now there will be no elections held here in the near future except Parliamentary polls which is nothing but a compulsion for the government, Omar further maintained.”