National Conference president Farooq Abdullah on Wednesday said the Centre should hold the assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir if its claims on return of normalcy to the Union Territory were true.
Abdullah, who is a Lok Sabha member from Srinagar, also accused the central government of playing a gimmick with the people on the issue of the restoration of statehood to Jammu and Kashmir.
“They (Centre) doesn’t want to restore statehood. It is all a gimmick to mislead us and the world. They won’t give it,” he said.
“The question arises that the government of India is saying the situation is normal in JK. The delimitation process has been completed. If elections are held everywhere, why not in Jammu and Kashmir?” Abdullah asked.
The former chief minister said the Centre has made the Lieutenant Governor the “master of everything”.
“Why has the LG been installed here and he has become the master of everything,” he said.
Asked about the administration issuing new orders enacting fresh laws like imposition of property tax, Abdullah said it does not bother the people anymore.
“They are issuing order after order. It does not affect us anymore. What can a slave people do? We are silent spectators,” he said.
In response to a question about halt in the demolition drive, the NC president said, “It (demolition drive) was a very wrong move”.
“God knows what their policy is! First they demolished the houses of the poor. Why did they not stop them when these houses were built? They (people) took loans from banks and after everything was done, they (houses) were demolished. How did it happen? To demolish something is easy, but to build something is tough. They were wrong,” he added.
On national politics, Abdullah said India was not established as a “Hindu Rashtra” as demanded by some right-wing groups.
“I don’t know (Hindu) Rashtra etc. I know that this nation was built on the principle of unity in diversity. Look at Tamil Nadu, their culture, weather, etc and then compare with Kashmir. We are totally different. Look at Assam and Maharashtra. What was it that united us? It was the wish to take the nation forward together and remove the difficulties of the people,” he said.
On relations with China, Abdullah said there was apparently nothing wrong as trade with Beijing was going on.
“India has good relations with China. I did not hear of anything untoward. Trade is going on smoothly even today,” he said.