Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah reacted sharply on Tuesday to comments of Home Minister Amit Shah terming the People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration a "gang", and said the frustration stems from the political amalgam deciding to contest the forthcoming local body elections and not giving the BJP and its allies a free run.
Reacting to a series of tweets by Shah, Omar, who is also vice president of the National Conference, said, "We are not a gang Amit Shah Ji, we are legitimate political alliance having fought and continuing to fight election, much to your disappointment."
Taking a veiled dig at the newly formed Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party, Omar said, "I can understand the frustration behind this attack by the Hon'ble Home Minister. He had been briefed that the People's Alliance was preparing to boycott elections. This would have allowed the BJP and newly formed King's party a free run in J&K. We didn't oblige them."
He said that only leaders in Jammu and Kashmir can be detained and called anti-national for participating in elections and supporting the democratic process.
"The truth is all those who oppose the ideology of the BJP are labelled 'corrupt and anti-national'," he tweeted.
Shah had earlier called the alliance of political parties in Jammu and Kashmir as 'Gupkar Gang', saying it is an "unholy global gathbandhan" against the country's national interest.
In a series of tweets, Shah also questioned Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi whether they support the People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), formed to demand the restoration of Article 370, scrapped last year.
"Jammu and Kashmir has been, is and will always remain an integral part of India. Indian people will no longer tolerate an unholy 'global gathbandhan' against our national interest. Either the Gupkar Gang swims along with the national mood or else the people will sink it," he said.
Shah said the Congress and 'Gupkar Gang' want to take Jammu and Kashmir back to the era of terror and turmoil and they "want to take away rights of Dalits, women and tribals that we have ensured by removing Article 370. This is why they're being rejected by the people everywhere".
"The Gupkar Gang is going global! They want foreign forces to intervene in Jammu and Kashmir. The Gupkar Gang also insults India's Tricolour. Do Sonia Ji and Rahul Ji support such moves of the Gupkar Gang ? They should make their stand crystal clear to the people of India," he said.