Early Times Report
JAMMU, May 3: One may like or dislike the kind of politics that the NC vice-president, Omar Abdullah, has been indulging in since 2002, when his father Farooq Abdullah handed the Kashmir's oldest party, National Conference, over to him, but one has to admire him for the fact that he sometimes Omar Abdullah does some plain-speaking and doesn't mince words.
On Thursday, Omar Abdullah praised PM Narendra Modi and BJP national president Amit Shah and tore into AICC chief Rahul Gandhi, his close ally. The reason: The PM and the BJP chief campaigned for the BJP candidates in J&K but the Congress high command, including Rahul Gandhi, didn't think it politically wise to visit J&K to campaign for the Congress candidates.
Omar Abdullah on Thursday opined that the Congress had the chance in Jammu, which elects two members to the Lok Sabha, and Ladakh, which elects one member to the country's highest law-making body and bemoaned saying that the central Congress leadership handed over all the three seats in Jammu and Ladakh to the BJP on a platter.
He also expressed the view that the Congress also had a chance in one of the 3 Lok Sabha constituencies, but the Congress high command left the Congress candidate, JKPCC chief GA Mir, in the lurch.
"The Congress was in with a fighting chance in 4 of the 6 seats and in 3 of these the BJP was the main opponent. It's inexplicable how the BJP was simply given a walkover as far as the optics of the campaign were concerned," Omar on Thursday tweeted. "Contrast this with the number of rallies addressed by Modi ji & Amit Shah. They may not have come to the valley but they didn't ignore the state. It says a lot about the Congress party & its approach to J&K. There hasn't been a single election meeting by its leadership," Omar also tweeted. It was obvious that he referred to the Jammu-Poonch, Kathua-Udhampur, Ladakh and the Anantnag Lok Sabha seats.
Omar Abdullah did this plain-speaking at a time when the election process in the Anantnag and Ladakh Lok Sabha constituencies was still on. The election process will be completed only on May 6. There are potent reasons to believe that his statements on the possible poll outcome on May 23 will further mar the poll prospects of the NC candidate from Anantnag, former High Court judge Hasnain Masoodi, and the NC-supported independent candidate from Kargil, Sajjad Hussain Kargili.
But more than that, the views of Omar Abdullah left none in any doubt that his NC has hardly any support-base left in Jammu and Ladakh and that people inhabiting Srinagar and the adjoining areas perhaps are perhaps his lost hope.