Jammu land scam: Omar demands tabling of Deputy Commissioner’s report in Assembly

Srinager, June 2 : Justifying the walkout by both National Conference (NC) and the Congress Party from the Jammu and Kashmir assembly over alleged land scam involving ruling BJP leader Abdul Ghani Kohli, former chief minister Omar Abdullah on Thursday said the issue is very serious and that is why the Opposition rose together asking for the report, which is available with the Jammu Deputy Commissioner (DC) to be tabled in the House.

“It’s a very serious issue that is why the Opposition rose together asking for report that is available with the Jammu DC to be tabled in the House. We expect that the Speaker will direct the government on the issue and the House will be taken into confidence. If that does not happen then obviously the Opposition will sit down and we will formulate our strategy for the days ahead,” he told ANI while taking about the 1900-kanal land scam in Jammu.

Saying his party will put up a good fight to Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, seeking her election from Anantnag, the National Conference leader said, “If the ground in Anantnag was so fertile for Mehbooba Mufti, she would have not used the excuse of Handwara to postpone the elections there. The fact that she postponed the elections is indicative of just how uncertain she has felt about contesting from Anantnag. They have used the time in between to try and influence voters there. But I still believe, we will put a good fight and there is every possibility that we will spring a surprise in Anantnag.”

When his response was sought on the People’s Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti’s allegations that the NC had played a negative role during the 1987 elections, Omar said, “It’s very convenient for Mehbooba Mufti to remember only one side of the equation, she needs to remember that two parties fought that elections together – National Conference and Congress Party, and who was the president of the Congress Party in Jammu and Kashmir at that time. He was a gentleman known as late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.”

“And, it is said that ‘taali do haanthon se bajti hai’: if Mehbooba Mufti is clapping, there are two hands responsible for that one if it is the National Conference and the second hand is the Congress. If on the one hand she wants to blame Dr. Farooq Abdullah, my father, then on the second hand she has to accept the blame in the name of her father Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. Therefore, there is any guilt to be apportioned in this, I am sorry, but she cannot absolve herself and her family of the responsibility of what happened in 1987. If Farooq Abdullah is responsible for the creation of Sayeed Salahudeen, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed is equally responsible for the creation of Sayeed Salahudeen,” he added.

When told that the PDP praised his grandfather Seikh Abdullah for choosing India, while stating that Mufti Mohammad Sayeed was also right in aligning with the BJP, Omar said, “It is convenient for them; in all my political life I have never heard words of praise for Sheikh Abdullah coming from the leadership of the PDP. Today they are using Sheikh Abdullah to justify their alliance with the BJP. I think it is very different for Sheikh Abdullah to have supported to accession of Jammu and Kashmir to a secular India, to have turned down the two nation theory is very different from the PDP tying up with the RSS and the Jan Sangh. So, equating Sheik Abdullah’s decision with Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s is naive at best.”

Talking about violence at the time of peak business, especially tourism, in the name of Pandit colonies and Sainik colonies, the former chief minister sought to know as to who was responsible for raising the issues.

“The government has raised them. The Sainik colony issue came to the fore because of an order by the Mehboob Mufti’s government to allot land for Sainik colony. That order is in front of everybody. It’s a different matter now that she has changed her mind and given a U-turn statement in the assembly the other day,” Omar said.

“Similarly, the migrant return issue has not been raised by the opposition. It has been raised first and foremost by the Central Government by no lesser person than that the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister. It is subsequent to their raising the issue that it has come up here. So, we are not the ones who are destroying the tourist season, we are not the ones who are trying to spark violence, it is the state government and their allies in the Centre that are creating these issues,” he added.

The former chief minister said the Opposition does not create issues ever, but reacts to situations created by the governments.

“That is the nature of Opposition. Therefore, if there are issues agitating people’s minds today and if there are issues that the Opposition is highlighting, it is a result of the government’s failure,” he added.