Omar's 'illiterate' remark against PDP candidates snowballs into controversy

A recent remark by former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir and Working President of National Conference Omar Abdullah related to the qualification of Peoples Democratic Party  nominees for the upcoming Rajya Sabha polls is snowballing into a major controversy.

Omar was on Tuesday quoted by a local news agency KNS as saying that PDP has fielded two “illiterates” as its candidates for Rajya Sabha and had questioned how they can represent the state in the Upper House of Parliament.

In response to Omar’s remarks, the PDP hit back and called him an employee of a hotel “whose knowledge revolves around hotel management”.

PDP chief spokesman, Naeem Akhtar while defending the decision to field Fayaz Ahmad Mir and Nazir Ahmad Laway, the two party candidates for RS polls, said they got more votes than Omar in the recent elections.

Feeling the heat, NC spokesman Junaid Azim Mattu on Thursday clarified that Omar never called PDP’s Rajya Sabha candidates illiterate and said this was wrongly attributed to the NC working president.

“Naeem Akhtar should apologise for issuing an obnoxious statement on something that was never said. Nevertheless it is a fact that PDP has insulted the educated youth of J&K by sending such politicians to speak on their behalf in the country’s Upper House – a forum of debate on policy, planning, and ideology,” Mattu was quoted by local newspapers as saying.

Agency firm
However, the news agency on Friday while rejecting Mattu’s assertions said that it stands by its news report.

In its daily bulletin which it circulates in the evening, it said, “We stand by our story and make it clear that we are in possession of the audio clip of the particular conversation.”

The news agency also challenged NC spokesman and its leaders to collect the audio conversation in which Omar “clearly and categorically said that PDP has fielded two illiterates as its candidates for Rajya Sabha and questioned how they can represent the state in the Upper House of Parliament.”

The remarks of Omar and Mattu generated a lot of debate on social networking sites with netizens mocking at NC leadership.

 Qualified ‘illiterate’
“He (Mattu) is himself a qualified illitrate which is evident frm his language and he is habitual boss changing illiterate person illiterate Muttu (sic),” posted Mohammad Waseem on his Facebook page.

Another facebook user Jeelani Kumar wrote: “Politicians send by PDP are middle-pass but they are much efficient Nd can speak well thn educated politicians. Junaid need to improve his Vision.”
DH News Service

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