Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti take temporary sanyas' from active politics

Both Abdullah and Mufti have, sought to elucidate that the SCs verdict maybe “disappointingâ€, but they have not been defeated as such

Srinagar: In the aftermath of Supreme Court’s upholding constitutional validity of the abrogation of Article 370, Jammu and Kashmir’s two high-ranking politicians, apparently shocked by the verdict, have announced to take a short break from active politics.

The pause, one of them said, will make him better at focusing his energies and return to fight more vigorously for the causes close to his heart. For the other, suspending political activities is to show solidarity with the people of J&K at this “crucial juncture.”

Former chief minister and National Conference (NC) vice-president Omar Abdullah on Tuesday announced to go “off-grid” for a few weeks, but he said that he would return to active politics early next year-refreshed, recharged and stronger to continue to fight and face challenges.

In a post on ‘X’, 53-year-old Abdullah said, “Who was it who said it’s not how hard you can hit, it’s how hard you can get hit & still keep moving forward? The last two days have been deeply disappointing both personally & professionally, but I refuse to give up & slink away”. When talking about being personally disappointed, Mr. Abdullah was apparently referring to the Delhi High Court dismissing his plea seeking divorce from his estranged wife Payal Abdullah.

The former chief minister, however, also said that it is the part of the year when he takes some time “to be with those I care about, to refresh, recharge and come back stronger.” He said, “I’m going off-grid for a few weeks. Will come back early in the new year fighting fit & ready to face the challenges that 2024 will throw at me, including at least two elections in J&K”. The NC leader pledged, “The fights and struggles will continue”.

Earlier another former chief minister and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti had cancelled her all-political engagements “in solidarity with the people of J&K” who, she said, have been wronged by the top court of the country.

Her aide and chief spokesman of the party Syed Suhail Bukhari said that Ms. Mufti was, as part of her ongoing public outreach programme, scheduled to address workers conventions at various places across J&K apart from other political activities but the PDP has decided to cancel all its political activities for one week “to stand in solidarity with our people at this crucial juncture.”

Both Mr. Abdullah and Ms. Mufti have, however, sought to elucidate that the SC ‘s verdict maybe “disappointing”, but they have not been defeated or conquered as such. The NC leader while pledging to continue to fight said that the party will decide on knocking the door of the court again after reading the SC’s latest judgement in full and consulting its lawyers. Ms. Mfti asserted, “The people of J&K are not going to lose hope or give up. Our fight for honour and dignity will continue regardless. This isn’t the end of the road for us.”

Some J&K watchers say that both NC and PDP and like-minded regional organisations may have to redraw their strategies to maintain their relevance in Kashmir politics. Political analyst Zafar Choudhary said that other than Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul’s recommendation for ‘Truth and Reconciliation Commission’, mainly inspired by his personal sentiment, and the bench putting up a deadline for the Assembly elections, no part of Article 370 judgment comes as any surprise.

“Every party to the Article 370, whether National Conference as historical negotiator to the special status, or BJP which draws its ideological roots from the demand of abrogation, has always put in its faith in the wisdom of the Supreme Court,” he said. He added, “With final order from the highest arbiter out, the local politics in J&K will have to completely reinvent itself.” Elaborating, he said, “Now this (local politics) can’t keep on endlessly revolving around the Centre-State relations. It will need a lot of political imagination and creativity to deal with other challenges.”

Shakir Ahmed, a Srinagar resident, said, “The leaders of various political parties here would till yesterday (Monday) morning assure the people of Kashmir that they are going to win. They kept us hopeful of the case being watertight, but the verdict of the Supreme Court is contrary to all this.” He added, “These Kashmiri politicians have always made false promises to us. They have shown us dreams which were never translated into reality.”

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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