For the second day running, Omar Abdullah lambasted the Centre for what he called indulging in “partisan” politics with respect to minorities.
The former J&K chief minister waded into the language debate, saying there was no need to pick a single national language. “India is too diverse a country and the idea of India is that it gives space to everybody,” he said, adding that even the Indian currency has many languages and we should respect all languages. “Let people select; why pick one national language?” he argued.
Abdullah tore into the “normalcy” claim of the government, arguing that if the situation were normal in the Valley as portrayed, “why is that Shab-e-Qadr, Jumat-ul-Vida prayers are barred at Jamia Masjid”. Citing tourist arrivals as normalcy won’t do as other parameters suggest otherwise, he said.
“Either it is artificial normalcy or the one being portrayed by the government itself. The fact is that the situation is far from normal,” he said. “The government, if not by its words but by its action, is proving that the situation is too far from normal.”
Abdullah hit out at the power cuts especially during Sehri and Iftaar time, saying it is either a deliberate attempt by the government or just its incompetence and that it needs to explain. He said power breakdown is also at its peak in the Jammu region.
“Generation from our own power projects is at its peak during April but yet we have no power at Sehri and Iftaar time. We don’t know where from the power has to be arranged by the government, but these power cuts should stop forthwith in view of the holy month of Ramzan,” he said,
The National Conference leader reiterated there was a good chance that the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD)—a bloc of parties from J&K including the NC— will fight the impending assembly elections together but added that it’s too early to decide as polls are yet to be announced.
Abdullah also welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision to hear a bunch of petitions on Article 370 sections being removed from J&K, saying he hopes the court will fast-track the case.