Srinagar: With Prime Minister Narendra Modi skirting any statement on Article 370, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Sunday said BJP is shying away from committing on this contentious issue and is instead keeping its “feet in two boats” in Jammu and Kashmir which normally ends up “sinking”.
The Chief Minister, who is the working President of National Conference, also dubbed BJP as an “opportunist” party with whom he feels there cannot be any relationship.
Omar, who heads the coalition government with Congress, made these remarks when asked to comment on BJP talking in different voices on Article 370 that grants special status to J&K and avoiding making a direct statement on the issue during the assembly polls.
“Of course, they are avoiding to be caught in this issue because it will be a problem for them. In Jammu, Article 370 becomes a national issue, up in the hills in Jammu, they are silent about it and in Kashmir, their candidates say ‘if you touch Article 370, we will pick up the gun’…. So they are contradicting themselves depending on the place in the state where they happen to be,” he said in in an interview to PTI during the course of his hectic campaign for the Assembly elections.
“They don’t want to commit themselves one way or the other. But, again, while trying to put their feet in two boats, you will end up sinking,” the 44-year-old Omar said.
Modi, who was in Kishtawar of Jammu region on Saturday, refrained from making any political statement on Article 370.
The state is going for the a five-phase poll beginning November 25 and it is widely expected that the results on December 23 will throw up a hung assembly. But Omar refused to predict anything saying, “I never make predictions. It’s never been my habit. In school, I never predicted my exam results and I never predicted my election results.”
In the hindsight, Omar says he should have handled allies perhaps a “little more forcefully” than he did.
“The 2010 agitation, the summer agitation will haunt me. I think I could have talked or marketed our achievements and successes better than we did. I had hoped that we would have concluded all three tiers of local body elections but these also fell victim to coalition politics. On the whole, we did a lot of good (work) but there are areas which in hindsight one would have liked to change.”