National Conference leader and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah on Friday called the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A as the biggest “misstep” for the union territory. Speaking a week after the first anniversary of the bifurcation of erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir on October 31, 2019, Abdullah suggested that they were not safe even in their own land.

The National Conference leader claimed that the people of Jammu and Kashmir were feeling more alienated than ever before and that the Central government had failed to live up to its promise of bringing more development to the UT.

“They said that by removing Article 370 and 35A, people who were distraught with the Indian administration would completely be assimilated into the rest of the country. But I’d like to say with conviction that by this, these people are even more alienated than before.

“Where are the development works? One year 3 months is long enough to get started on such projects. We’d always say don’t be under a misconception that removing Article 370 and 35A will solve all problems. It is the biggest misstep for J&K. We’re not safe on our own lands,” Abdullah told a public event.

“In 2012, 2013 and 2014, there were barely some youth who were taking to arms. The number of men who joined the militancy over a period of 12-13 years, is now being matched in a matter of months these days,” Abdullah said.

National Conference patron and former J&K CM Farooq Abdullah also spoke today and said Jammu and Kashmir wants to stay with India. He hit out at the BJP and said India belongs to Mahatma Gandhi, not the BJP.

“If Jammu and Kashmir wanted to go to Pakistan, they would have done so in 1947. No one could have stopped it. But our nation is Mahatma Gandhi’s India. Not BJP’s India,” Farooq Abdullah said.

It may be recalled that the Union government had abrogated Article 370 on August 5, 2019 and also bifurcated the state into two union territories: Jammu and Kashmir with a legislature and Ladakh without a legislature.