Centre wary of Omar's statement

The ruling Congress believes  that the chief minister’s polemics on Kashmir’s accession to India, demand for autonomy and assertion that he was “not a puppet” of New Delhi were symptoms indicating his failure to stem the drift in the Valley.

“The sharp comments from the chief minister have come soon after the Central package for Kashmir was announced  and steps taken to dismantle bunkers from sensitive locations in Srinagar. He seems to be toeing separatists line to win public support,” sources told Deccan Herald.

As against Abdullah’s all-round criticism for failing to control law and order, Congress General-Secretary Rahul Gandhi last month extended his support to the beleaguered chief minister. A dominant section of political leaders in Kashmir feel that Abdullah has politically survived through the three-month violence in the Valley only on the backing from the Gandhi family.

“Options are open in Kashmir. The government will soon  appoint a political interlocutor for talks and closely and continuously monitor the situation,” the sources said.  
The main Opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), which had shared power with  the Congress in the state  in the past, has maintained its comfort level with the ruling party at the Centre.

PDP President Mehbooba Mufti has blamed the current situation in Kashmir to “the immaturity and inexperience in the governance.”

Reacting to the chief minster’s statement in the state Assembly, Senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi here accused Abdullah of  internationalising  the Kashmir issue.
“His comments are laughable. Various princely states joined India under the Instrument of Accession. There was no instrument of merger,” Joshi said. He said the Indian Constitution clearly states that Jammu and Kashmir is and shall be an integral part of India.

Terming Abdullah’s remarks as “irresponsible,” Joshi said it gives rise to several apprehensions and amounts to backing the separatists.

The Congress is particularly alarmed by Abdullah’s dismissive tone about the Central Kashmir package which was announced after an all-party delegation visit to Kashmir last month.

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