The Hindu

Gup­kar Al­liance an un­holy global gath­band­han: Shah

Mehbooba, Omar, Cong. hit back at Union Home Min­is­ter

- Spe­cial Correspond­ent India News · Politics · Elections · Amit Shah · Jammu and Kashmir · Jammu and Kashmir · Jammu · Indian National Congress · Democratic Party (United States) · North Carolina · Omar Abdullah · Bharatiya Janata Party · India · Twitter · New Delhi · Randeep Surjewala · Mahatma Gandhi · Indira Gandhi · Rajiv Gandhi · Narendra Modi · Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh · Pakistan · Inter-Services Intelligence · Pathankot · Masood Azhar · Mehbooba Mufti · Rahul Gandhi

Union Home Min­is­ter Amit Shah on Tuesday termed the Gup­kar Al­liance, a coali­tion of Jammu and Kash­mir po­lit­i­cal par­ties, an “un­holy global gath­band­han” against the na­tional in­ter­est.

He asked if the Congress, re­ported to be in in­for­mal seat ad­just­ment ar­range­ments with the Peo­ple’s Al­liance of the Gup­kar Dec­la­ra­tion (PAGD) for the District De­vel­op­ment Coun­cil polls, en­dorsed what the al­liance lead­ers had said on Ar­ti­cle 370 restora­tion.

Peo­ples Demo­cratic Party (PDP) pres­i­dent Mehbooba Mufti and Na­tional Con­fer­ence (NC) vice-pres­i­dent Omar Ab­dul­lah were quick to crit­i­cise Mr. Shah.

The Congress said it was not a part of the PAGD and asked the BJP to ex­plain its 2015 al­liance with the PDP.

In a se­ries of tweets, Mr. Shah said the “In­dian peo­ple will no longer tol­er­ate an un­holy ‘global gath­band­han’ against our na­tional in­ter­est. Ei­ther the Gup­kar Gang swims along with the na­tional mood or else the peo­ple will sink it.”

He ac­cused the par­ties of try­ing to col­lude with for­eign pow­ers and show­ing dis­re­spect to the Tri­colour.

Ques­tion­ing the BJP’s crit­i­cism of the PAGD, Ms. Mufti said fight­ing elec­tions in an al­liance “is also anti­na­tional now”.

Mehbooba hits back

In a tweet, Ms. Mufti said, “Old habits die hard. Ear­lier BJP’s nar­ra­tive was that the ‘tukde tukde’ gang threat­ened In­dia’s sovereignt­y and they are now us­ing ‘Gup­kar Gang’ eu­phemism to project us as anti-na­tion­als. Irony died a mil­lion deaths since its BJP it­self that vi­o­lates the con­sti­tu­tion day in and day out.”

She said, “BJP can stitch as many al­liances in its hunger for power but some­how we are un­der­min­ing na­tional in­ter­est by putting up a united front”. The BJP’s tac­tic of di­vid­ing In­dia by pro­ject­ing it­self as a saviour and po­lit­i­cal op­po­nents as in­ter­nal and imag­ined en­e­mies was far too pre­dictable now. “Love ji­had, tukde tukde and now Gup­kar Gang dom­i­nates the po­lit­i­cal dis­course in­stead of rising un­em­ploy­ment and in­fla­tion,” she ob­served.

Mr. Ab­dul­lah also took to Twit­ter to re­spond to Mr. Shah’s tweets.

“I can un­der­stand the frus­tra­tion be­hind this at­tack by the Home Min­is­ter. He had been briefed that the Peo­ple’s Al­liance was pre­par­ing to boy­cott elec­tions. This would have al­lowed the BJP and newly formed king’s party a free run in J&K. We didn’t oblige them”, he said.

It was only in Jammu & Kash­mir that lead­ers could be de­tained and called anti­na­tional for par­tic­i­pat­ing in elec­tions and sup­port­ing the demo­cratic process. “The truth is all those who op­pose the ide­ol­ogy of the BJP are la­belled ‘cor­rupt and anti-na­tional’,” he stated.

Le­git­i­mate al­liance

Mr. Ab­dul­lah as­serted, “We are not “gang” Amit Shah ji, we are a le­git­i­mate po­lit­i­cal al­liance hav­ing fought and con­tin­u­ing to fight elec­tions, much to your dis­ap­point­ment”.

Mr. Shah had tweeted, “The Gup­kar Gang is go­ing global! They want for­eign forces to in­ter­vene in Jammu and Kash­mir. The Gup­kar Gang also in­sults In­dia’s Tri­colour. Do So­nia Ji and Rahul Ji sup­port such moves of the Gup­kar Gang? They should make their stand crys­tal clear to the peo­ple of In­dia”.

In New Delhi, Congress chief spokesper­son Ran­deep Sur­je­w­ala said in a state­ment, “The Congress is nei­ther a part of the Gup­kar Al­liance nor is it a part of the PAGD… Will Mr. Amit Shah bother to ex­plain why did the BJP form a coali­tion gov­ern­ment with the PDP that he is now at­tack­ing?”.

The Congress said it didn’t need any les­son in na­tion­al­ism from par­ties that were ‘slaves or stooges of the Bri­tish Em­pire’.

It claimed that the na­tional still re­mem­bered the sac­ri­fices of its lead­ers, in­clud­ing Ma­hatma Gandhi, for­mer Prime Min­is­ters Indira Gandhi and Ra­jiv Gandhi.

Mr. Sur­je­w­ala said, “May be Amit Shah and the Naren­dra Modi gov­ern­ment need new les­sons in pa­tri­o­tism and na­tion­al­ism, as their par­ent or­gan­i­sa­tion, the Rashtriya Swayam­se­vak Sangh (RSS), never hoisted the Tri­colour for 52 years”.

Past events

The Congress also delved into some past events. It asked the BJP to ex­plain why it al­lowed Pak­istan’s In­ter-Ser­vices In­tel­li­gence to visit the Pathankot air­base fol­low­ing the ter­ror at­tack and re­leased Jaish-e-Mo­hammed chief Maulana Ma­sood Azhar, among oth­ers.

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