No J&K autonomy demand, no joining anti-Modi front, no street politics: Omar likely to play ball with Centre

Former RAW chief AS Dulat had said that the Abdullahs’ release in March this year was part of a deal with the Centre

No J&K autonomy demand, no joining anti-Modi front, no street politics: Omar  likely to play ball with Centre
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NH Web Desk

National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah seems inclined to play ball with New Delhi in its plan to form a ‘democratic’ government in the almost-one-year-old Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

In his first ever interview after his arrest in August last year and his release in March this year granted to The Indian Express, Omar Abdullah has laid down three parameters for his party’s future course of action:

  1. Abdullah is willing to fight against the Centre but he is opposed to any kind of street politics.
  2. Abdullah and his party will not join hands with any kind of anti-Modi formation formed at the national level.
  3. He is also not very keen to push the J&K autonomy demand at least for now though his party may make noises for the restoration of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution that granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

Omar Abdullah, speaking to The Indian Express, categorically ruled out any possibility of his party National Conference indulging in any kind of ‘’street politics”. “I am sorry that is not me. I will not engineer a protest to score a point…I have said this before, if I am not willing to put a gun or a stone in my own hands, I have no business to doing this to a young Kashmiri. I am very clear on that…”

Abdullah junior, who spent over 7 months under house arrest since the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5 last year, expressed his bitterness against opposition parties which supported the Modi government’s move inside Parliament to scrap Article 370 and didn’t protest against dismemberment of J&K as a state. “I am deeply resentful about their support to the UT and dismemeberment…And then the way detention were handled.” Omar said the they just paid “lip service” protesting Kashmir leaders’ detention.

Omar made it clear in his interview that he would have no truck with them. “I have no cause with them (opposition leaders). I will speak for the people of J&K. I can’t speak for any body else,” he said. It makes it very clear that his party National Conference will not join hands with any opposition group if it is formed.

Omar Abdullah didn’t sound keen to raise the autonomy issue in J&K politics. When The Indian Express categorically questioned him if National Conference would change its stand on the issue of autonomy, Omar said: “I can’t speak for the party. But I am very clear I will not raise a slogan that is for mere lip service or for hood winking.”


The Modi government will like to play ball with a Kashmiri political player like Omar Abdullah who is ready to oppose street politics in Kashmir and will also not be a part of an anti-Modi platform at the national level. Beside these, he is also willing to down play the autonomy issue in Kashmir.

Former RAW chief during the AB Vajpayee government A.S. Dulat had indicated, in an article published on a Delhi-based website, that the Abdullahs’ release in March this year was part of a deal with the Centre. Who knows? May be Omar Abdullah was making the deal public through The Indian Express interview.

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Published: 28 Jul 2020, 8:48 PM