Following up on the jibe by union home minister Amit Shah that Valley-based parties had done little for the public in the past 70 years, the National Conference on Thursday issued an exhaustive report card on education, health, employment industry, investment, infrastructure, and social policy it brought during its rule in Jammu and Kashmir.
Put out on social media sites and for media circulation, the NC was responding to Shah’s contention that regional parties had ignored people by pocketing money meant for their development. The home minister told a gathering in Baramulla on Wednesday that “Abdullah and Sons and Mufti and Company" had done very little in the past 70 years when it comes to building infrastructure like hospitals, colleges, stadiums, roads, and buildings.
He said while the Modi model had got investment of Rs 56,000 crore in the past few years, the regional parties had got only Rs 15,000 crore in seven decades. He said while local parties had given stones and guns in the hands of the youth, Prime Minister Narendra Modi ensured they were replaced by laptops and mobile phones. Shah had challenged the parties to show what they had done on the development front in the past many decades.
While Mehbooba Mufti was quick to counter in a tweet that her late father, who was the CM of the state, needs no validation from anyone, the National Conference had said it needed a day to respond to the home minister’s statement.
Mehbooba tweeted, “Dedicating his speech to answer my questions, HM forgets that Mufti sahab was CM for just 3.5 years & doesn’t need validation from him for his work for welfare of J&K.Even after ruling J&K directly since 2018, BJP has nothing to show except their broken record of dynastic rule."
Living up to what it tweeted on Wednesday, the NC released its list of developments that were carried out when three generations of the Abdullahs, starting with Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, ruled the erstwhile state.
A spokesman of the party quoted former two-term chief minister and current NC president Farooq Abdullah as saying that “yesterday home minister Amit Shah ji asked me to account for the development that took place during the years JKNC has been in power. He was trying to suggest that nothing had been achieved and that NC had wasted away its time in office with nothing to show."
“I don’t wish to get sidetracked by some of the other things that were said about guns and stones. The sacrifices of my colleagues over the last 35 years where scores of NC leaders and workers have been killed or injured by these very guns Amit Shah ji accused us of distributing is the only answer this accusation needs,” the spokesman quoted Abdullah saying.
The NC spokesman issued a list of works and achievements it claimed to have done from 1947 to 2014 when the Abdullahs were in the saddle, saying it is by no means complete but is a snapshot of some of the work done.
“Ultimately people will be the judge of what has and hasn’t been achieved. Perhaps now Amit Shah ji can share with the people of J&K what has been achieved in the last three and a half years of central rule in J&K,” he said.
The statement highlights broadly the period when the grandfather, father, and son, ruled for five tenures: 1948-53, 1977-83, 1986-1989, 1996-2002 and 2008-2014. It gives the break-up of infrastructure projects, jobs, strengthening democracy by empowering panchayats, setting up skill centres, educational institutions besides roads, bridges, buildings, etc.