Former Chief Minister and leader of the opposition National Conference Omar Abdullah said that his party didn’t attend the all-party meet called by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti Thursday because the government isn’t interested in listening to the opposition and correct its course.
“It took them ten days (after the protests broke out) to call us. We would have understood if they hadn’t called and spoken to anybody during these days. The Chief Minister invited several civil society groups, traders etc.. to talk. In fact, the Home minister (Rajnath Singh) had called us from Delhi on the second day (after the protests),” Omar Abdullah told The Indian Express. “Besides they aren’t serious to listen to what we say. Her (Mehbooba’s) ministers are publicly accusing us instead to accepting their own failures”.
Abdullah said that, apart from being critical of the government’s handling of the situation, the NC doesn’t want to get involved with the protests. “When people start pelting stones and protesting, it never is against the ruling party and the government alone. It is always against the entire mainstream politics in Kashmir. We understand that,’’ he said. “When three stones hit PDP, two hit NC too. The sentiment on the streets is against everything the mainstream political parties stand for”. Abdullah said, unlike in 2009 and 2010 when PDP was in opposition, his party wants the situation to calm down. “If the situation continues to deteriorate and more people are killed, it may force Mehbooba to go. What next?” he said. “That will be an uncontrollable situation. Who will extinguish the fire then? ” He said that he doesn’t see things returning to normal anytime soon.
Abdullah said that his party has decided not to attend the all-party meet to protest the total mess created by this government. “One of their MP says in Delhi that they shouldn’t have killed Burhan and instead arrested him. Why tell this to Centre? Why don’t you ask your own Chief Minister?” Abdullah said.