Jammu: National Conference working president Omar Abdullah on Thursday launched a sharp attack on PDP-BJP coalition government on issues like AFSPA and Article 370 saying the common agenda spelt out by the ruling alliance was only aimed at "fooling" the people of the state.
Playing the role of opposition leader in the state Assembly, 45-year-old Omar, former Chief Minister of the state, took a dig at BJP over Article 370 saying "the special status (of Jammu and Kashmir), which has been eroded (in the past), cannot be further eroded.
"You (BJP and PDP) cannot scrap Article 370 from the state of Jammu and Kashmir", Omar, who was speaking on the Motion of Thanks on Governor's address, said.
He also took on PDP saying the party was projecting BJP's "silence" on the Article as "some gift" from BJP. "It is their (BJP's) compulsion. Even the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was silent on it," he said.
BJP knows that they cannot scrap Article 370, Omar, who spoke for nearly 50 minutes, said.
He tore into the claims of Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed's party who had held his father Farooq Abdullah responsible for imposition of controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).
Omar, who was the first Kashmiri leader to demand partial revocation of AFSPA from areas where militancy-related incidents were nil or bare minimum, said "I had tried a lot for revocation of AFSPA and felt it will be started during my rule. But it did not materialize. I feel sorry that I couldn't do it. But what did you bring from the Centre in agenda for common alliance?" he said.
"If Farooq Abduallh government took a cabinet decision and forwarded it to the then Governor who approved it and AFSPA was implemented, you have numbers and support of BJP to reverse the process and start removing AFSPA from some areas," he said.
Omar referred to the Governor's speech to the joint session of the Assemby and the Council on March 18 in which he had said that the state government will "endeavor to tell the central government to take a final view on AFSPA in some area".
"Why the central government while you are in power? You have the right to take a final view. If you have really taken the concession from BJP, which I could not get from my coalition partner then you should approve it in cabinet and send it to the government to lift it. Do it because BJP is with you now", he said.
"But what is the need for bringing in Delhi into the picture? The thing which I could not do, you should do it. Why did you bring in Delhi? It will give suspicious signals. It is undermining the Chief Minister's institution. Remember you (PDP) always targeted me for what you alleged weakening of the institution of CM. Now what are you doing?" Omar said.
Omar also raked up the issue of West Pakistan refugees and asked the Sayeed government to come clear whether there was a move to give them citizenship of the state.
On the delimitation of Assembly constituencies especially for Jammu region, Omar referred to to the Governor's address where it was stated that delimitation will take place as required by law.
"When you say as required by law, the matter is finished. It is closed till 2026. It is face-saving for BJP so that they go to their constituencies and say we will have delimitation," he said.
He wondered where did BJP people go when the Common Minimum Programme was being drafted.