BJP minister Chander Prakash Ganga's remarks on stone pelters are not isolated utterances, but point towards a "deeper prejudice patronised and institutionalised by the PDP-BJP alliance", Opposition leader Farooq Abdullah said today.
Abdullah, who won the recent Lok Sabha bypoll from Srinagar seat, termed PDP's condemnation of Ganga's comments as a "painful joke", adding that the Mehbooba Mufti-led party's "continued, unconditional and apologetic alliance with the BJP validated such remarks at the cost of our people's sense of dignity and respect."
"This is yet another fixed match between the PDP and the BJP," he alleged.
"Had PDP been really outraged by the minister's comment, it would have broken their alliance with the BJP as a mark of protest," he said.
Ganga had reportedly called stone pelters as traitors.
"There is only one remedy for them and that is bullets. And if not bullets, they should be given punishments like the youths who are beaten with sticks by forces. Take my word that next time they (the youth) won't throw stones," he was quoted as saying by the local media.
Abdullah said the "anti-youth posturing and policies" of the Mehbooba Mufti government had brought the state to the "precipice of turmoil and unrest."
"I strongly condemn the injustice and violence perpetuated against our students at various campuses and express my solidarity with them. I pray for the speedy recovery of injured students, especially young girls, who have been murderously assaulted," the former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister said.
Abdullah also expressed concern over reports of Kashmiri students being mistreated and threatened by various right-wing organisations in different parts of the country, particularly in Rajasthan where Kashmiri students were assaulted at the Mewar University, and Meerut in Uttar Pradesh where hoardings have been put up by right-wing affiliate organisations asking Kashmiris to leave the city.
The NC president also said the PDP-BJP government had become "untenable and unsustainable" after Chief Minister's brother and PDP candidate for the Anantnag Parliamentary bypoll, Tasaduq Mufti "sought a last-minute abortion of an election that was, by all means, underway."
Abdullah said the Centre should rise above ideological politics as statesmanship was the need of the hour.
"You cannot stereotype Kashmiris and define them within the narrow contours of a regressive nationalism versus anti-national narrative. The political problem in Kashmir is far too complex for such broad stroke definitions and merits an open-ended and well-intentioned political engagement with all stakeholders, including the leadership of the Hurriyat Conference," he said.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)