Mehbooba following `Doval doctrine’, not AoA: Omar ‘BJP trying to use judiciary to abrogate Art 370’


JAMMU, Jan 28: The Leader of Opposition in Lower House and the former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Saturday reiterated that the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti was following (Ajit) `Doval doctrine’ and not the Agenda of Alliance (AoA).

Had she been following it (AoA), July situation, unrest, would not have occurred, he said.

Omar was participating in debate in the Legislative Assembly on demands of grants for the departments under charge of the Chief Minister.

The former Chief Minister also cautioned Mehbooba against the attempts of coalition partner Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which he alleged was “trying to use judiciary to achieve its ultimate objective to abrogate Article 370” after conceding that it could not use the legislature to do so.

Reference to the context was SARFAESI Act and the sub-judice matter on Article 35-A. “If the flaccid approach as demonstrated by the state government in the court of law in case of SARFAESI Act is repeated in the matter of Article 35-A too, the issue is bound to snowball into a major controversy. Hence here I caution in advance – don’t blame us later for that,” Omar warned.

As he broke his impregnable silence, which he maintained throughout this week while participating in the House proceedings as a disciplined legislator, today while taking on the Leader of the House i.e., Chief Minister, he was blunt. He did not mince words in targetting his political adversaries and aiming barbs.

This found blatant reflection when he talked about political interference in his constituency or named relatives of Muftis whose writ, he said, “runs large in South Kashmir vis-a-vis transfers and postings.” Or when he launched a direct offensive against Mehbooba on account of “her shattering image of soft separatist”, “her double-speak on unrest, Burhan Wani’s status and opposition to Judicial Commission to probe 2016 killings.”

“You did not settle less than a judicial probe in case of one person’s (Haji Yusuf’s) killing during my tenure as the Chief Minister, now in case of over hundred persons’ killing in 2016, you’re going for probe by SITs and you’re not willing to concede our (opposition’s) demand for Judicial Commission. Why? Convince us how you’re going to disseminate justice through Special Investigation Team (SIT) probes,” was his stinging poser towards the Chief Minister.

BJP USING JUDICIARY TO ABROGATE ARTICLE 370: Finding serious problem with the legal team of state government, Omar raised question mark over the performance of its Standing Counsel, Additional Advocate General, Deputy Advocate General with reference to case of SARFAESI Act in the Apex Court in particular. In the same breath he cautioned against their sagging performance while fighting case related to Article-35 A. Here he hit his other bête-noire i.e., BJP also in his overt offensive. This he did in his inimitable yet direct manner.

“Aap Hamesha Kehti Hain Hum Aag Lagaaney Waaley Log Hain…(You always accuse us of adding fuel to the fire). We make issue out of non-issue. No, we don’t. In fact we get it on the platter. I’m warning you about the next issue (having the potential to snowball into a major controversy). Those, who have this perception that BJP has abandoned its agenda vis-à-vis abrogation of Article 370, are wrong in their assessment. BJP has conceded that it cannot use legislature to do so, hence it has decided that it will judiciary to achieve this objective. What happened in case of SARFAESI Act, it should not be repeated. We know that you (banks) cannot sell property to outsiders (because of Transfer of Property Act). But the way it was fought in the apex court, if similar approach continued in case of Article 35-A, the state would be in a deep trouble. That’s why we’re worried. Tomorrow if it becomes an issue, don’t blame us. You’re spending crores on projects, spend few lakhs to appoint good, efficient lawyers who can defend you (state) effectively in the apex court,” he suggested.

CM WORKING ON DOVAL DOCTRINE: The former Chief Minister stated that none had any objections to the content of the Agenda of Alliance (AoA) which formed the crux of her reply to the debate on Governor’s Address. He said none in the House ever objected to AoA.

“We only questioned its delivery. You’ve failed in its delivery that’s questionable. We’re not bothered you’ve taken what point of AoA from where. Question is about delivery. I vividly remember Mufti Sahib’s assertion to defend his alliance. He had stated that he was cobbling alliance to get money from the Centre to distribute relief among flood victims, ensure political resolution of Kashmir problem besides development and NC, Congress had nothing in their kitty. Now where’s the relief? You’ve admitted yourself in both the Houses that you failed to provide relief to them. Obviously questions will be raised on your Agenda of Alliance. Ditto is about your commitment vis-à-vis return of power projects which NHPC had categorically rejected. As far as question to deal with the situation is concerned, again you’re not following AoA. Otherwise July situation would not have emerged. You’re working on Ajit Doval’s doctrine,” he said.

Omar said there was no objection to it even but she should be candid enough to admit that.

Referring to Doval’s address delivered on October 10, 2010 in Hyderabad, where he had analysed his (Omar’s) government’s handling of 2010 situation, the Leader of the Opposition stated that there was no difference in what Doval had said and the way Mehbooba had dealt with the agitation.

“It’s (Your handling is) the same way as he talked about how agitation could be suppressed, how the very idea of J&K and its philosophy should be ignored, how it should not be accepted as a political problem requiring a political solution, how Pakistan should be dealt with and Hurriyat should be marginalized. Your Agenda of Alliance talks about big ideas using idealistic expressions but you’re following a different doctrine where there’s no common meeting ground. Now you’ll have to take a call as which road map you are going to follow. Once a decision is taken, take us and the entire house into confidence. So far you’re following only one doctrine and that’s not yours,” he said.

WHY SIT, WHY NOT JUDICIAL PROBE IN 2016 KILLINGS?: Going full throttle against the Chief Minister right from the word ‘Go’, Omat at the very outset targetted as why she did not concede to the opposition’s demand for Judicial Commission to probe 2016 killings.

“Why does SIT suit you now? Why should we believe that justice should be done through SITs when there’s no clue about SIT report on Handwara? The Speaker had given us assurance that the inquiry report would be tabled in the House. Where is that report? If annexure given in reply to the cut motion is the report, no justice can be disseminated. Moreover why did you not believe in the SIT when I was the Chief Minister? You demanded judicial probe in the killing of one person Haji Yusuf, we agreed to it. Now 100 persons have been killed, why no judicial probe is being ordered. How SIT could ensure justice now, you’ll have to convince us in your reply,” Omar served a veiled ultimatum.

Asking her to showcase at least one new project or governance model introduced in her tenure and which benefitted the state, he also hit her for “resorting to politicking even in develop0ment works.”

“You would say situation did not allow you. But this is an excuse. Even during turbulence in 2016, the works worth Rs 20 Cr were executed in a particular assembly constituency in South Kashmir and works worth Rs 10-15 Cr were executed in another constituency there. But this excuse was used as a pretext in my constituency or that of Sagar Sahib, Gul Sahib where no works were executed during this period,” Omar said.

POLITICAL INTERFERENCE GALORE: Referring to, what he chose to describe as “the downgrading of MLA’s status in the present regime” with particular reference to transfer and postings, the former Chief Minister said that the appointment of Chief Planning Officer appointed at the behest of a person close to the Chief Minister in his constituency was a perfect case of political interference as he was performing in a partisan manner.

In another direct vitriolic attack on the Chief Minister, he said in the South Kashmir, all transfers, postings were being made on political ground.

“No transfer or posting can take place against the wish or without the recommendation of Sartaj Madni and Sajjad Mufti, this has become an open secret. You need to take off this political influence in case of transfers and postings even if you’ve to make few persons close to you angry. As I did in case of the appointment of SSP Srinagar, against the wish of my colleagues for the reason that my DGP wanted him for maintaining law and order. This I did while sacrificing my political interests in the wider interest of State,” Omar said.

At this point of time, he also asked the Chief Minister to deal sternly with those spreading rumours about the replacement of the Chief Secretary to pave way for themselves for the coveted post.

“DGP and the Chief Secretary are two arms of any Chief Minister. Give them your full confidence even if you’ve to fight with your colleagues. They (DGP and CS) are held accountable in the first instance for anything which goes wrong in the state.

He also cautioned the Chief Minister against, what he said, “creating wedge between the local and non-local officers in the name of cadre management.” “To sort out the issue of cadre management is the Chief Minister’s job and responsibility. Don’t make them fight as they all have to work together,” Omar said.

DOUBLE-SPEAK APPROACH: The Leader of Opposition yet again raked up the issue of, what he said, “contradictions in Mehbooba’s statements, her double-speak.”

“You had said Burhan Wani was an ordinary militant, But those killed him were honoured by the Centre. Had he been an ordinary militant, the medals would not have been given to those who killed him,” Omar mocked.

MEHBOOBA NOT `SOFT SEPARATIST’!: In yet another cutting remark against the Chief Minister, he mocked one thing was really appreciable about her that she had completely belied the perception generated at some quarters as “Shosha” (misgiving) vis-à-vis her image as a ‘soft separatist’ or a ‘politician soft towards militants.’

“You belied that perception fully. Had it been true, the killing of such a large number of militants in 2016, the highest number so far, would not have been possible. But at the same time a complacency of great magnitude both at the level of state as well as central government had taken a toll of highest number of security personnel in 2016 after 2008. There was no big, sensitive army installation which was not attacked …Pathankot, Uri, Akhnoor, Nagrota. Thankfully they could not reach Srinagar Headquarter (Badami Bagh cantonment) otherwise the National Highway had become totally vulnerable. I wonder over the stoic silence of BJP MLAs now while recalling their past Avtaars. Rhetoric cannot safeguard a nation,” he stated.

At this point of time, he had a dig at the Prime Minister Narendra Modi while recalling his (PM’s) “Mar Jawan, Mar Kisaan” barb aimed at the former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh.

“Now where’s Jai Jawan, Jai Kisaan? Jawans are getting killed, farmers are also committing suicides following demonetization,” Omar said.

He also asked the Chief Minister to clarify her statement made on the occasion of Police Commemoration Day on October 21.

“You had stated – J&K Police should play fatherly role to bring youth in mainstream. It was reported that you had also said addressing police- If a local militant is trapped in the cordon, don’t kill him in an encounter. I need a clarification – how you’re going to implement it. Did you tell this in the Unified Command as well and were similar directions passed to the army and paramilitary forces also? Will they follow it? Moreover is there any technique to verify the identity of militant caught in cordon as soon as the encounter begins? If I’m confused, the police too would be confused and then it would be very difficult to deal with the situation in J&K,” he warned.

REGIONAL IMBALANCES NOT ADDRESSED: He accused the Chief Minister and her government of not addressing the issue of regional imbalance despite their commitment made in the Agenda of Alliance. In this case he referred to the case of IIT which was granted to Jammu but in Kashmir only off-shore campus was provided. “When we addressed the issue of regional imbalance by granting Central University at both the places, why you did not follow the same in case of IIT, IIM,” he asked adding that Chenab valley and Ladakh were even otherwise ignored in the rhetoric of regional balance which did not move beyond Jammu and Srinagar.

Omar also took exception to pre-mature transfer in the administration stating that this was affecting governance. In this case he quoted MLA Sopore in whose constituency one BDO was changed 15 times and second BDO was changed 5 times in last 16-18 months. “Similarly premature transfers of doctors were made. From rural areas, many were brought to Gandhinagar and other city hospitals but no replacement was made in rural areas,” Omar said while referring to an answer to the cut motion in Health and Medical Education department grants.

Batting for the strengthening of State Information Commission (SIC) and the RTI institution, he also questioned the progress on programmes related to good governance initiated during his regime viz., PSGA, RFD, Third Party Monitoring etc.

News Updated at : Sunday, January 29, 2017