Miffed Ruhullah wants NC to show urgency in restoring J&K’s special status, says his future in party uncertain
Srinagar: Former minister and senior J&K National Conference (JKNC) leader, Aga Syed Ruhullah Mehdi said on Wednesday that he was not happy with the way his party was dealing with the aftermath of the centre’s decision to abrogate Article 370 last year.
Mehdi said that he would stay with the party only if it exhibited “seriousness” and “struggled” for restoring the special status of the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir state.
“I have let it be known many times that I am not happy with the way they (JKNC) are going…We are not showing any urgency and we are not taking it very seriously. Let’s see how they behave in the future,” Ruhullah said in an interview with The Kashmir Monitor.
Ruhullah had resigned as the JKNC Chief Spokesperson on July 28. His resignation came a day after JKNC vice-president Omar Abdullah stated that he would not contest elections till J&K remained a Union Territory. Later, Omar had blamed the media for reading his statement as a ‘demand for statehood’.
Asked about his political future, he said: “It depends what happens next. If they (NC) choose to fight for the reversal of the decisions of August 5, I will be there for the struggle with them and with the people. If they choose to give up, then I will think about it.”
Ruhullah, however, said he was happy with the recent statements of JKNC president Farooq Abdullah where he had stood by the ‘Gupkar declaration’.
“We got to meet only once during a political affairs committee (PAC) meeting of the National Conference (on August 29). I discussed my opinion there as well. After that, you have been seeing Dr sahib’s (Farooq Abdullah’s) statement and a couple of interviews that are in the right direction. But it needs to be substantiated and taken up in an organised way,” he said.
Over a year after stripping off the J&K’s special status, six main political parties including the JKNC, Peoples Democratic Party and the Congress had on August 22 announced that they stood by the ‘Gupkar declaration’ and will jointly fight for the restoration of Article 370 .
On his future course of action, he said he was waiting for the JKNC working committee meeting before deciding about his future.
“We should not have any other objective other than restoring Article 370 and whatever constitutional rights were taken away from us. We should be focused on restoring those rights, and we should not compromise,” he said, while maintaining that there was a lot of support in the party for the demand.