Srinagar, Nov 22: Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah on Thursday said that his party had agreed to extend external support to People’s Democratic Party. “We had promised Mehbooba Mufti verbally that we will support her in government formation. Though it involved a lot of risk, even some of my party leaders said that our decision will give a new lease of life to PDP but we did it in the interest of people,” Abdullah said in a press conference here in Srinagar city.
He added that the decision to support PDP verbally was taken due to various factors. “There was imbalance in administration. Our special status was being attacked and challenged. Kashmiri students studying outside Jammu and Kashmir faced lots of problems and frequently being attacked. In a bid to give respite to people, we had decided to provide support to PDP in government formation. We had however, made it clear that we will not be part of the government. We talked to PDP and even PDP agreed to handover the charge of Chief Minister to Farooq Abdullah, which he refused,” Omar said.
“It’s unfortunate that a senior BJP leader has said we have got instructions from Pakistan. I challenge Ram Madhav and his associates to prove this with evidence. You are disrespecting sacrifices of my colleagues who refused to dance at Pakistan’s instructions and died,” Omar Abdullah said in response to Madhav’s allegations that PDP, NC and Congress have taken instructions from Pakistan on government formation.
Omar Abdullah entertained the reporters when he cracked some jokes about Governor’s fax machine. “This is for the first time that a fax machine didn’t work and became responsible for the death of democracy. This fax machine is a one-way fax, it has only outgoing and no incoming. This is a unique fax machine and investigation should be done on it,” he said and added that NC never sent any letter to the Governor, the primary decision to challenge Governor rests with PDP.
Pertinently, Governor office didn’t receive letter from Mehbooba Mufti in which she had staked claim for government formation.
While responding to a question, Omar Abdullah said: “We wanted elections much earlier. We wanted things to be cleared earlier, but that was not being done. We finally decided to give outside support to them.”
“Nobody ever suggested we would be fighting elections. I don’t in any way believe all three fighting elections together can make situation in Jammu and Kashmir better,” he said adding that a strong opposition is essential for the democracy.
In response to a question, Omar Abdullah said that mainstream political parties have not become irrelevant and it proved on Wednesday night when assembly was dissolved because mainstream parties had decided to act.