The soft-spoken vice-president of the Jammu & Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee and Sopore MLA, Haji Abdur Rashid Dar, has blamed the Congress high command for the party’s rout in 2014 Assembly elections and formation of PDP-BJP coalition government. Dar, who was abducted by militants and lost a brother to militant violence, spoke to Fayaz Wani about issues concerning his party, PDP-BJP government and separatist politics.
Why did Congress heavyweights lose in 2014 Assembly elections?
Due to their faults. They never took care of people in their constituencies. Maybe due to their ministerial duties, they were not been able to give time to their constituencies, but in the end they lost because people were not happy with them.
What was the reason for party’s rout in the polls?
There are many reasons. Primary among them was Congress high command’s decision to give six years to Omar Abdullah as chief minister during NC-Congress coalition government from 2008-2014. Omar had little experience in state politics and he turned out to be arrogant and a total failure. We were told that the party has given its word to Omar and it cannot be taken back. This decision cost us dear. Had the high command agreed for rotation of CM’s post and made Ghulam Nabi Azad CM for three years, things would have been different.
Does that mean Rahul Gandhi-Omar Abdullah formula failed?
Yes, it failed. The formula did not work because of Omar being arrogant and a novice. The party high command should take views of the state leadership into consideration before taking a final view. Leaders from outside the state only visit J&K for a few days. They come here for picnics.
Is PDP-BJP coalition government a result of the Modi wave in state?
There was never a Modi wave in the state. It was on ly in the parts of Jammu, not in Valley, where there was no existence of BJP.
Why did Mufti ally with BJP and not Congress?
He chose to go with BJP for lust of being in power for six years. To make his daughter Mehbooba Mufti CM, he aligned with the rightwing party. Mufti has given a free hand to RSS and BJP in the state to implement their saffron agenda. He has surrendered his stand on Article 370.