In a major embarrassment for the Bharatiya Janata Party, its Jammu and Kashmir in charge Ram Madhav was forced to retract his statement alleging that National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party joined hands to form a government in the state at the behest of Pakistan after Omar Abdullah publicly dared him to prove the allegation.
Madhav, the BJP's general secretary, tweeted that he takes back his comment as Abdullah has denied that there was any external pressure. He followed it up by saying that the two parties should contest the next elections in the state together, to prove that the "love" that prompted them to come together in an alliance was genuine. "Mind you it’s a political comment,not personal," he tweeted with a laughing emoticon.
The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister had lashed out at Madhav, and the BJP, after repeated insinuations of Pakistan hand behind the alliance.
Madhav had made the sensational claim that both PDP and NC had boycotted the local body polls last month because they had instructions from across the border as he looked to defend Governor Satya Pal Malik for the abrupt dissolution of the state assembly on Wednesday night.
“Probably they had fresh instructions from across the border to come together and form the government. What they did prompted the Governor to look into the whole issue,” Madhav told news agency ANI.
Abdullah immediately objected to the grave allegation in a strongly worded tweet and asked Madhav to prove the allegation or be “man enough to apologise”.
“You have RAW, NIA & IB at your command (CBI too is your parrot) so have the guts to place evidence in the public domain. Don’t practice shoot and scoot politics,” he wrote in a direct reply to the BJP leader.
Madhav asked the former chief minister to take the comment in his stride in his reply, and said it was not meant to question his patriotism or to offend him. “But the sudden love between NC and PDP and the hurry to form the government leads to many suspicions and political comments,” he added.
Abdullah shot back that misplaced attempts at humour won’t work and again dared the BJP to prove the allegation. “You HAVE claimed my party has been acting at the behest of Pakistan. I dare you to prove it! Place the evidence of your allegation of NC boycott of ULB polls at Pak behest in public domain. It’s an open challenge to you & your Govt,” he wrote in another tweet.
Governor Malik had controversially dissolved the state assembly on Wednesday despite the PDP, Congress and NC joined hands to form a coalition government in the state and Mehbooba Mufti staking a claim to form the government. The alliance between PDP and NC signaled a major political realignment in the state as the two parties have been traditional bitter rivals.
In political comments unusual from a Governor, an under fire Malik too called the alliance between the two parties unholy and referred to them boycotting the local body polls last month, calling it proof that they were against grassroots democracy.
Former J&K deputy CM and senior BJP leader Kavinder Gupta also claimed that the PDP, NC and Congress were coming together “on the directions from Pakistan”.