Accession Row: I Only Said What Omar’s Grandfather Did: Fotedar15 June 2011
Srinagar: A day after ruling National Conference reiterated that accession of Jammu and Kashmir with India was conditional, senior congress leader Makhan Lal Fotedar Wednesday said he stands by his remarks, saying he had only said what chief minister Omar Abdullah's grandfather, Sheikh Abdullah had done. “I have only said what is in the constitution and what grandfather of Omar Abdullah has done. I have said what other politicians including Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad, Ghulam Mohammad Sadiq have done and I restate that accession is final and Jammu and Kashmir is inseparable part of India,” Fotedar, advisor to late Indira Gandhi, the first woman Prime Minister of India, told PBI in an interview here. To a question about the Minister for Rural Development, Ali Mohammad Sagar’s assertion that four congress ministers have signed the speech of Omar Abdullah on accession in state assembly, he said, “I don’t know who said what, but i have said what is in the constitution under which I have fought elections and moved forward.” The congress leader also claimed that Kashmir was not a political issue but about eradication of poverty, unemployment and development. About former Chief Minister and Peoples Democratic Party patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Fotedar said that he firmly believed that the Kashmir issue would have been resolved had the former home minister of India given the extension as Chief Minister of the state. “Mufti Mohammad Sayeed was told by Madam Sonia (Congress President Sonia Gandhi) that he will be the chief minister and he accepted it.” “Soon after taking over the reins, Mufti raised the slogan of opening Rawalpindi road and it was opened. As the time passed, traffic started to decrease as situation changed here and also in other side. I firmly believe, based on my friendship since 1957 with Mufti, had he be been allowed to continue as Chief Minister in 2005, the Kashmir issue would have been resolved. ” He said that congress Working Committee had passed resolution for his continuance. “Then someone came and said that MLAs have threatened to resign and the decision was changed at the late minute. Had the working committee meet summoned again, Mufti would have continued as Chief Minister and Kashmir issue would have seized to exist. ” To a question as to how he sees Chief Minister Omar Abdullah era in Jammu and Kashmir, “Let him complete three years, only then i will be able to make a comment about his progress report.” About the rotation in Chief Ministership in the state, he said that the decision lies with Sonia Gandhi. He also played down factionalism in state congress. “I don’t know about anything,” he said.