Opposition National Conference president Farooq Abdullah on Monday took support from separatist-leaning Jamaat-e-Islami in the upcoming Lok Sabha bypolls in Kashmir to fight the RSS and to “protect” the “identity” of Kashmiris.
Making an appeal for unity against communal and “anti-Kashmir forces” in the by-elections in Kashmir, Abdullah said this was not about small ideological differences and issues between various entities in Kashmir, but about the “larger battle” against BJP and RSS.
“Today this is not a battle between Farooq Abdullah and this alliance but a larger battle for our very survival with dignity and honour. Today all of us, including our brothers in Jamaat-e-Islami, have to come together to fight RSS or our identity and honour will be wiped out,” he said.
“I seek your support so that we can all collectively fight against the RSS with honour and courage,” Abdullah said at an election rally in Kangan area of Ganderbal district.
Jamaat-e-Islami was a constituent of the Hurriyat Conference for many years before opting out in the aftermath of the 2003 split in the conglomerate.
Though the party has distanced itself from politics, it continues to espouse the cause for resolution of the Kashmir issue as per the UN resolutions or through tripartite talks between India, Pakistan and Kashmiri leadership.
Abdullah accused the ruling PDP of shaming and embarrassing the Muslims across the country by allying with the RSS for political power.
“RSS represents decades of suppression of Muslims across the country and has openly advocated the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmirs special status since 1947. Today, both as a Kashmiri and a Muslim, I am disappointed and ashamed that PDP sold its 2014 mandate and its conscience to attain political power,” the former chief minister said.
Abdullah, who is the joint NC-Congress candidate for the bypoll to Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency, said the PDP had “shamed and embarrassed Muslims in general and Kashmiri Muslims in particular” by allying with RSS in the state.
The former chief minister said after “selling PDP to the RSS”, Chief Minister Mehbooba was now trying her best to “sell” the rights, dignity and honour of Kashmiris to the RSS.
“She doesn’t leave a single opportunity to heap praise on the RSS, the BJP and even those leaders of the Sangh Parivar who have openly advocated the destruction of minorities,” he said.
The National Conference had never bowed down before “bigoted, communal and anti-Muslim forces” and would never join hands with them for power, he added.
Hitting out at the BJP for not fielding a single Muslim candidate in the recent assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Abdullah said Mehbooba now expects Prime Minister Narendra Modi to follow the footsteps of Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
“Both Mehbooba Mufti and Narendra Modi are trying to fool us as their words don’t match what is in their hearts,” he said.
Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad also addressed the gathering and implored the people to put up a united and spirited fight against “communal” and “anti-Kashmir” forces.