New Delhi: After accusing Kashmir rivals Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah of acting on Pakistan’s will, on coming together to try and form government in Jammu and Kashmir, BJP Ram Madhav on Thursday took a step back. An angry Omar Abdullah had dared him and the central government to prove the allegation.
Madhav, while speaking to a reporter, claimed that Abdullah’s National Conference party was acting on “instructions from across the border”. Clearly, he meant Pakistan.
And Omar Abdullah was riled. He threw down the gauntlet, challenging Madhav to use all the central agencies and try and prove his charge. “Either prove this or be man enough to apologise,” Abdullah tweeted.
Madhav, later, granted Abdullah’s wishes partly. Madhav said that he was taking his words back since Abdullah had denied “any external pressure”.
However, the BJP general secretary had a challenge of his own for Abdullah. “Now that you proved it was genuine love between the [Omar Abdullah’s] NC and [Mehooba Mufti’s] PDP that prompted a failed government formation attempt, you should fight the next elections together.
The Twitter feud
BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav, while speaking to a reporter, said that Omar Abdullah’s NC and Mehbooba Mufti’s PDP had “boycotted” the recent local body polls in the state “because they had instructions from across the border”.
“Probably they had fresh instructions from across the border to come together and form government. What they did prompted the governor to look into the whole issue,” Madhav said.
Madhav’s comments were posted by news agency ANI in a tweet. Omar Abdullah saw the tweet and got angry.
Abdullah dared Madhav to prove his allegation. “You have RAW, NIA & IB at your command (CBI too is your parrot) so have the guts to place evidence in the public domain,” Abdullah said referring to India’s many central agencies — the external intelligence agency R&AW, the anti-terror agency NIA and the internal intelligence agency IB.
“Either prove this [the allegation] or be man enough to apologise. Don’t practice shoot and scoot politics,” Abdullah also said.
Ram Madhav saw Abdullah’s tweet and responded with an attempt at humour. Madhav said that he wasn’t questioning Abdullah’s patriotism and that his comments were simply “political”.
“Just take it in your stride…Not questioning your patriotism at all. But the sudden love between NC and PDP and the hurry to form government leads to many suspicions and political comments. Not to offend you,” Madhav tweeted, ending his post with a grin.
His tweet, however, just added fuel to Abdullah’s fire.
Abdullah called Madhav’s tweet a “misplaced attempt at humour” and once again dared Madhav to prove his claim.
“No, misplaced attempts at humour won’t work. You HAVE claimed my party has been acting at the behest of Pakistan,” Abdullah said.
“I dare you to prove it! Place the evidence of your allegation of NC boycott of ULB [urban local body] polls at Pak behest in public domain. It’s an open challenge to you and your government,” Abdullah ended his tweet.
And, Madhav’s response? It came after a couple of hours because the BJP leader was traveling.
“Just landed in Aizawl and saw this,” Madhav tweeted. “Now that you deny any external pressure I take back my comment, but, now that you proved it was genuine love between NC and PDP tht prompted a failed govt formation attempt, you should fight next elections together. Mind you, it’s [a] political comment, not personal.”
Reason behind war of words
Madhav and Abdullah’s Twitter war was in the context of the recent political developments in Jammu and Kashmir, which has been without an elected government for the past few months
The earlier government, led by CM Mehooba Mufti, fell after the BJP pulled out of its alliance with Mufti’s Peoples Democratic Party
Last evening, Mufti joined hands with her rival Omar Abdullah and the Congress to stake claim to form a government in Jammu and Kashmir
A competing claim was made by Sajad Lone of the Jammu and Kashmir People’s Conference. He claimed to have support of the BJP
With two rival claims being made, Governor Satya Pal Malik chose to dissolve the assembly setting the state on a path towards an election
This morning, Omar Abdullah clarified that his party, the National Conference, will be contesting the election alone and not in partnership with Mehbooba Mufti’s PDP.