'Delhi's Hand Behind Our Poll Defeat' NC
13 March 2003
The Times of India
Jammu: Dr Mustafa Kamal has denied the news report that he had resigned from the National Conference and that he was thinking of quitting politics, following his and his party's electoral defeat last year. The report, published in The Kashmir Times on March 5, claimed that Dr Mustafa had sent a letter to the NC president Omar Abdullah, requesting that he be relieved of all his responsibilities in the organization and also be excused from all political-organizational programmes of the National Conference. Significantly, the NC circles have so far not commented on this report which said that Omar Abdullah had discussed this development with his father, Dr Farooq Abdullah during the latter's recent Jammu visit. While acknowledging Dr Mustafa's right to go public with his version, this newspaper has it from unimpeachable sources that in fact a written communication was received by Omar Abdullah and that he had sought his father's guidance in dealing with it. Whether Dr Mustafa was now acting on second thoughts, or otherwise, his refutation of the March 5 news report is being carried in this issue in keeping with the belief that the readers are the best judge. Dr Mustafa's lengthy letter enumerates a number of his post-election pursuits ( none of them of political nature). His engagement with these activities would normally leave him with practically no time for serious party or political work expected of a senior leader and a member of the NC's highest policy making body-working committee. Nor does he mention about any political-party activity he has in mind for the future, keeping in view the redoubled effort needed to pull the NC up from its present state. In a 5-page letter (text inside) written from Tangmarg in response to the KT news report, Dr Mustafa maintained that 'I was, and will remain a member of the National Conference till death doth us apart. Quitting politics is out of the question as it is in my blood'. Interestingly, the letter goes on to recall the history of the NC and the Abdullah dynasty to allege how Delhi had always been plotting conspiracies against both. Refusing to accept the genuineness of the recent electoral outcome, the letter charged that the NC's electoral defeat had been planned and executed by the central government, its intelligence agencies and the army as well as the Election Commission of India. Dr Mustafa sought to explain away his own debacle in the assembly elections from Tangmarg (Gulmarg) constituency by claiming that 'my defeat by 20, 000 odd votes......can at best be called an unrealistic cooked up figure (reportedly in a local SOG camp over 4 hours when EVMs were on way to the district headquarters of Baramulla after polling was over) which has not gone down well with the electorate'.