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Has Omar Abdullah forgotten the past?
Abrogation of J&K’s special status
7/5/2020 12:43:39 AM
Early Times Report

Jammu, July 4: Vice-president of National Conference and former chief minister of J&K Omar Abdullah not breaking his silence over the abrogation of the Article 370 and J&K’s reorganization has raised many questions, which Omar will have to answer sooner or later. The big question which everyone seems to be asking is that has he forgotten the past?
It may be recalled that soon after his release Omar had said that he would make his stand public about the abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35-A, after the lockdown is lifted.
Omar then had meticulously ducked the question, citing the COVID-19 lockdown and restrictions as a primary reason for his silence.
“As far as Article 370 and 35 A are concerned I will speak on the issues openly in detail later. At present, I will speak about how we can get rid of COVID -19. We are fighting a big fight against Coronavirus. Today, when we were asked to maintain social distancing, here we are together violating the very orders,” he had said.
Now when lockdown restrictions have been eased out and political activities too have begun to resume, Omar’s continuous silence is irking many of his own colleagues. “Our very existence is at stake now. We don’t know whether we should be demanding statehood back, internet or restoration of Article 370. Farooq Abdullah on one side is inaugurating the ice cream shops in Srinagar, his son and party’s vice-president is speaking on everything except what the party should do. This all looks deeply perturbing,” said a National Conference functionary. A senior NC leader said that the party now expects its leadership to speak on the issue now and guide the cadre in the right direction. “Omar Sahab’s silence is disturbing. We don’t know what he really believes or thinks. It indeed isn't good for the party in the long run,” said the leader.
On June 22, this year when some NC leaders in a joint statement demanded restoration of special status to Jammu and Kashmir, Omar’s name was omitted out of that joint party handout.
Prior to this, there was a hint of rebellion found within the NC recently when Omar’s close aide sidelined Article 370 fiasco and pitched for internet restoration and release of political prisoners. He was later ridiculed by his another colleague who termed his remarks, not in alliance with the party’s basic stand. The situation within the party now is going to be an interesting watch as there are reports of conflicting stands taking toll within the NC ranks. While some advocate restoration of special status, others opine that it is time to move ahead and not to reverse the clock needles. On which side Omar will stay is a million dollar question.
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