After sharing power with either the National Conference or the PDP in Jammu and Kashmir over the last 12 years, the Congress today is criticising both parties as being “unreliable” and of “doublespeak”.
The Congress shared power with the PDP for five-and-a-half years from 2002, and then for another six years with the NC since 2008. The latter coalition has run its full course, though the parties have contested separately in the LS elections and now.
Ghulam Nabi Azad, leading the Congress in the polls, last week accused previous governments of looting the state, though he clarified that the one he had led didn’t do so. Days earlier, he had compared the PDP and the NC with the BJP, which has softened its decades-old stand on Article 370. Azad said Narendra Modi and his party were following what the regional parties had been doing for 60 years — saying one thing in Kashmir and another in Jammu.
Sham Lal Sharma, minister and Congress candidate, has accused “Kashmir-centred parties’’ of perpetuating political instability “so that they can run their shops in the Valley”. “Of late, they have another ally in the BJP which has hijacked the agenda of the NC and the Hurriyat Conference, besides joining hands with separatists.”
Omar Abdullah has said it is strange that the Congress has been criticising his government and yet taking credit for all the good things the government has done. Congress spokesperson Shafiq Mir says the NC became a hurdle to the implementation of flagship Congress schemes, but added, “We had to remain in the coalition under compulsion.”