Hitting out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on December 9 alleged that the BJP-led Central government has left no stone unturned to make Kashmiris suffer during and after the floods that caused unimaginable destruction in the state.
“Modi Sahab spoke about his realisation of the pain and misery of Kashmiris during his public meeting in Srinagar without telling us where his empathy is for the flood victims of Kashmir who continue to await any sort of a relief and rehabilitation package from the Centre,” Omar said.
He was addressing election rallies in Srinagar, which is going to polls on December 6.
Omar, who is also the working president of National Conference, said while speeches and poetic rhetoric is all well and good, there was no substance in the Prime Minister’s speech.
“Where is the substance? Where is the proof of these apparently noble intentions? If Prime Minister Narendra Modi is actually concerned about Kashmiris and their sufferings, what is stopping him from approving the Rs 44,000 crore relief and rehabilitation proposal for the flood victims?” he asked.
“He (Modi) wants to transfer the funds directly into the accounts of the victims – who is stopping him or the Central government from doing that? All we want is that the Central government rises above politics of discrimination and polarisation and does justice with the flood-affected victims,” the Chief Minister said.
Omar said if the Prime Minister actually had empathy towards Kashmiris, the flood-victims would not be camping in tents in sub-zero temperature despite the state government’s repeated requests to the Centre to take a final call of the proposed Relief and Rehabilitation Package.
The chief minister also lashed out at PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed for being absent during the devastating floods and for arriving at Srinagar airport on a flight from Delhi and taking the same flight to Jammu without caring to interact with flood victims.
“We kept a helicopter waiting for Mufti Sahab and hoped that he would contribute his experience and help in that situation and wanted to give him the facility so that he could meet those he would have wanted to meet. However, Mufti Sahab came in a plane and left in the same plane while hundreds and thousands of Kashmiris were struggling to survive,” he said.
Omar said Sayeed must have seen this as an opportunity to lobby for power and elections and it is apparent in how all PDP leaders, including its MPs rushed to Delhi during the floods to seek early elections rather than being with their people.
“National Conference took a clear stand on Assembly elections. We could never imagine foisting elections on a devastated people who were sleeping under the open sky and whose homes were shattered.
“However, while NC appealed that flood victim rehabilitation be given a priority over elections, PDP and Congress left no stone unturned to force elections on our people at a time of collective mourning,” he added.
Omar expressed satisfaction at the smooth conduct of elections in third phase of the Assembly polls today, saying “just like in the first two phases it had become evident that NC would emerge as the single largest party in the state despite sponsored propaganda and fabrications by our detractors”.
“There is an unprecedented enthusiasm in our cadre and I have never seen such levels of passion in them. I congratulate the people of my state and our workers for this historic mobilisation of support in favour of National Conference,” he said.