Srinagar: Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said on Friday that the emergence of new political parties in Kashmir was aimed at dividing the people in the Valley.
Addressing a National Conference rally in Lolab area in Kupwara district, Abdullah said: “I am no one to stop their entry into politics, but why only in Kashmir? Why aren’t new parties coming up in Jammu and Ladakh?
“They are only dividing the votes of Kashmiris,” he added.
Abdullah challenged the new parties to contest elections in the other two divisions of the state also.
“I don’t say only NC has the right to power. But if they really want to save Kashmir, they should contest elections in other divisions as well.”
Abdullah did not name anyone but his reference was clearly to former IAS officer Shah Faesal’s newly formed Jammu and Kashmir People’s Movement party and the re-emergence of the People’s Conference of Sajad Lone.
He asserted that the present elections were significant as these will decide the future course of action on articles 370 and 35A of the Indian constitution.
“The very special character of our state is facing overt as well as covert threats. These elections provide us a good opportunity to send resourceful and capable people to the country’s highest house who can work for preserving the state’s special status,” he said.
He criticized PDP leader and former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti for bringing the the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to the state.
Abdullah said that when he was the Chief Minister, the NIA was used only once and that too in the case of a militant who had abjured violence and was returning to the state.
He said once voted to power, the National Conference would withdraw all cases against the local youths.
He also said if voted to power, his government would scrap the harsh Public Safety Act (PSA) under which a person can be detained for two years without any judicial intervention.
“We will ensure that our youth are not unnecessarily intimidated by the NIA. We will also put an end to the PSA.”