Article 370 abrogation: Abdullahs rip into Azad’s allegations

NEW DELHI: The National Conference (NC) has criticised former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad for his “baseless allegations” that NC chief Farooq Abdullah and his son, Omar Abdullah, were consulted by the Narendra Modi-led Centre before the abrogation of Article 370.
The party accused Azad of “stooping low” and making “senseless claims”.
Farooq Abdullah, who is currently serving as the Lok Sabha MP from Srinagar, expressed his disappointment with Azad’s political utterances and referred to them as mere gossip. “Azad stooping so low in his political utterances only to remain in the political circuit. A leader like him should not be circulating what he himself has termed gossip,” he said.
Farooq also reminded Azad of the support he received from the NC when he won his Rajya Sabha seat in 2015.
“He has to clarify actually which side of the fence he was on. He has been enjoying every perk even after ceasing to be a member of the Rajya Sabha. The question is, how?” the NC leader asked.
Azad had given an interview to a TV channel where he claimed that NC leaders sought meetings with Delhi’s leaders after 11 pm, raising suspicions among the people.
He also alleged that the Abdullahs had prior knowledge about the abrogation of Article 370 in 2019 and were detained willingly.
Azad further accused Farooq Abdullah of using the religion card to gain Hindu votes by visiting temples and singing bhajans.

Farooq Abdullah strongly asserted that the National Conference has always stood for secularism and demanded that Azad explain the real reason behind his decision to break away from the Congress and form his own party in Jammu and Kashmir.
Farooq clarified that he and several other leaders had a meeting with PM Modi before the decision to revoke Jammu and Kashmir’s special status on August 5, 2019. He emphasized that their actions were transparent and carried out in broad daylight, questioning the need for secretive nighttime meetings.
“Whatever we have to do, we do it in broad daylight. Why should one ask for time at night…?” Abdullah asked and described Azad’s statement as childish and laughable.
Omar Abdullah, the former J&K CM, also responded to Azad’s allegations.
Taking to X, Omar said: “Wah bhai wah Ghulam Nabi Azad, so much bile today. Where is the Ghulam that was begging us for Rajya Sabha seats in J&K as recently as 2015?
“‘Abdullahs knew about 370’ yet we were detained for more than 8 months including under PSA and you were free, the only ex CM in J&K free after 5th Aug,” he added.

Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh joined the conversation, expressing no surprise at Azad’s statements and calling him an absolute disgrace. On August 5, 2019, the BJP-led Centre revoked the provisions of Article 370, which granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir, and divided the state into the Union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
It remains to be seen how these allegations and counter-allegations will impact the political landscape in Jammu and Kashmir.
(With inputs from agencies)

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