A cordial exchange on the social networking site Twitter between the regional National Conference (NC) vice president, Omar Abdullah and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state president, Ravinder Raina is being interpreted as ‘warming up between the NC and the BJP’ ahead of the assembly elections in J&K.
NC senior leaders have expressed dismay over the idea that a cordial exchange of words should have been interpreted as some sort of a political warming up.
“It is unfortunate and at the same time, petty thinking that Omar Sahib expressing cordiality towards Ravinder Raina and vice versa should be seen as the result of some backdoor patch up between the NC and the BJP,” said a senior NC leader.
Media speculations started when Omar Abdullah responded warmly to Ravinder Raina’s Twitter comments that among the politicians of J&K, Omar is the jewel in the crown.
Raina also said that when he was suffering from Covid infection, Omar was the first to ask his welfare.
Omar responded by saying that to be political rivals does not mean that politicians should become personal enemies.
NC leaders are saying that Omar Abdullah is a gentleman who does not believe in personal enmity among political rivals.
“Our fight with the BJP is on principles and ideology, we have no personal property dispute with them. Why can’t political rivals share the same table and exchange greetings,” said another NC leader.
“The political agenda of the BJP and the NC is so diametrically opposite to each other that any future alliance between the two would be impossible even when we know that politics is the art of the possible,” said a political analyst here.
Even for the common man on the street, it would be political ‘Harakiri’ if the NC would align with the BJP politically.
“Even though Omar Abdullah was a minister in the Vajpayee-led NDA government, the closing of ranks between the NC and the BJP is practically impossible after abrogation of Article 370, 35A and the downgrading of the state into a Union Territory,” said another politician who is a constituent of the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) headed by NC president, Dr. Farooq Abdullah.
What adds an important dimension to this development is the opinion of some senior leaders of the BJP in the UT.
“Our political discourse and programme is total integration of J&K with the rest of the country, how can there be any political understanding between us and the NC? It would be betrayal of our mandate to politically align with the NC. Yes, we have respect for Dr. Farooq and Omar Sahib. They are personally warm to all of us and so are we,” said a senior BJP leader.
It must be recalled that a similar speculation had hit the media last time when Dr. Farooq Abdullah was invited to the marriage of Dr. Jitendra Singh’s son.
Dr. Abdullah had not only attended that marriage ceremony, but had been cordially received by the senior BJP leader, Dr. Jitendra Singh.
In a nutshell, the NC and the BJP are politically locked in a Julius Caesar-Brutus battle.
The two parties are politically so apart to each other that personal cordiality cannot bridge the ideological chasm between them unless the NC chooses to climbdown on everything it stands for after the abrogation of Article 370.