Stop indulging in horse-trading: Omar Abdullah to BJP

Omar Abdullah accuses BJP of pressurising DDC candidates to switch sides

Omar Abdullah alleged that official machinery is being used for the purpose

Omar Abdullah file photo. Credit: PTI Photo

Accusing the BJP of horse-trading and pressurising DDC candidates to switch sides, regional National Conference (NC) leader and former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Omar Abdullah, on Saturday alleged that official machinery is being used for the purpose.

“The winning DDC candidates are being forcefully made to join the BJP or Apni Party. One of the candidates from the NC was forcefully made to join the Apni Party,” he alleged in a hurriedly called press conference, at his Gupkar residence.

Corroborating his statement, the former CM played a call recording to prove that the husband of a winning woman candidate from south Kashmir’s Shopian district was allegedly forced to make his wife join the Apni Party in lieu of getting her husband released from the detention.

The newly floated Apni Party, believed to be a proxy of the BJP, won only 12 out of 240 seats in the just concluded district development council elections in J&K.

“I don’t know on whose command this all is being done. Winning candidates of the PAGD are being threatened, humiliated and coerced to join Apni Party which is a B-team of the BJP,” visibly upset Omar claimed.

The PAGD is an alliance of arch rivals and regional heavyweights – NC and PDP - besides five other parties. It was formed on October 15 to work towards restoring the special status of J&K which was revoked last August.

On Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech earlier in the day in which he said Jammu and Kashmir voted to strengthen the democracy as people came out in large numbers to vote, the NC leader said, “On one hand the Prime Minister boast on DDC polls and claim victory of democracy, but on the other hand, democracy is being discredited in J&K.”

“If the BJP leaders are beating drums that democracy has won in J&K through DDC polls, why the same democracy is being discredited by the administration which is using police to force the winning candidates to switch sides,” he asked.

Elaborating further, Omar said, “Perhaps this all is being done to change the verdict of the DDC elections. This way the democracy is being murdered. If the Parliament and assemblies have anti-defection laws, why the same is not being implemented and those switching sides are disqualified?” the former CM added.

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