Omar Abdullah Shreds Ghulam Nabi Azad

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'We Were Detained, You Were Free': Omar Abdullah Shreds Ghulam Nabi Azad

Mr Azad had also claimed that the Abdullahs met the PM and home minister secretly.

New Delhi:

Responding strongly to veteran politician Ghulam Nabi Azad’s claims that he and his father had been briefed about the abrogation of Article 370, National Conference leader Omar Abdullah has said that they were detained for eight months at the time while Mr Azad was the only former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister who was free. 

The claim was made by Mr Azad in an interview to a TV channel on Monday, in which he also referred to rumours that the Abdullahs had asked to be kept under house arrest themselves in 2019 so that they would not have to take a “public posture” on the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status. 

The former Congress leader and now Democratic Progressive Azad Party (DPAP) chief went on to allege that the father and son said one thing in Srinagar and something else in Delhi, and accused them of playing a clever game.

Lashing out at Mr Azad, Omar Abdullah said, “Who is azad (free) and who is ghulam (a slave), time will tell & people will decide.”

Rebutting the claims in a post on X, Mr Abdullah wrote, “Wah bhai wah Ghulam Nabi Azad, so much bile today. Where is the Ghulam that was begging us for Rajya Sabha seats in J&K as recently as 2015? ‘Abdullahs knew about 370’ yet we were detained for more than 8 months including under PSA & you were free, the only ex CM in J&K free after 5th Aug (sic).”

The National Conference leader was referring to the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, under which he, his father and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti – all former J&K chief ministers – had been detained in the run-up to, and after, the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5, 2019. 

On the DPAP chief’s claims that he and his father met the PM and Home Minister secretly, Mr Abdullah claimed his father had been “thrown out” of his government bungalow when he was no longer an MP, while Mr Azad had been allowed to retain his ministerial bungalow. 

Referring to PM Modi’s speech in Parliament, when he teared up while bidding farewell to Mr Azad on his final day in the Rajya Sabha in 2021, the National Conference leader wrote, “‘Abdullahs say one thing in Kashmir & another in Delhi’ yet PM cries for you in Rajya Sabha & criticises us in every speech. Let’s not forget the Padma award for which you agreed to leave Congress & help BJP in Chenab valley. Who is azad & who is ghulam, time will tell & people will decide.”

Mr Azad had left the Congress in 2022 after writing a letter to Sonia Gandhi, stating that the situation in the party had reached a point of “no return”. He had formed the Democratic Progressive Azad Party the same year.

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