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'NC Ditched Jinnah': Ex-BJP Ally’s Campaign Anthem Resonates Loud in Kashmir

By: Aakash Hassan

News18.com

Last Updated: April 09, 2019, 13:06 IST

'NC Ditched Jinnah': Ex-BJP Ally’s Campaign Anthem Resonates Loud in Kashmir

The song was first sung in one of the party’s rallies in north Kashmir’s Pattan area by a local supporter in the presence of the party's chief Sajjad Gani Lone.

Srinagar: The People’s Conference (PC) party, a BJP ally from the previous Mehbooba Muti-led government in Jammu and Kashmir, in its anthem for the upcoming Lok Sabha Polls launched a scathing attack against its rival – Farooq Abdullah’s National Conference- for “ditching” Pakistan’s founder, Muhammed Ali Jinnah.

The song was first sung in one of the party’s rallies in north Kashmir’s Pattan area by a local supporter in the presence of J&K-PC chief Sajjad Lone.

The lyrics of the jingle loosely translates to - “They (NC) have made Kashmiris unsighted, Jinnah was ditched by them.”

These lyrics are especially significant of National Conference’s stand against Kashmir’s accession to Pakistan.

Election season come and the valley’s political parties and candidates often take a sympathetic stand towards the neighbouring country. This time around, however, the mainstream politicians in the state are increasingly seen using the language of secessionists.

PC’s election anthem goes on to say, “National (Conference) has shed Kashmiris’ blood, Oh, people recall Afzal Guru! They (NC) unleashed ferocity in the dark of the night.”

Afzal Guru was a Kashmiri separatist leader, who was executed following his conviction in the 2001 parliament attack case. He was sent to gallows in February 2003, when the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government was in the power in the centre and also in the state in alliance with J&K National Conference.

The song seems to suggest that their party would not have executed Afzal Guru.

“We will vote you to power, protect Article 35 (A) and solve the Kashmir dispute,” the anthem reverberated against the sound of loud applause and cheers at the rally. The song also describes the PC’s election symbol, which is an Apple, as the “fruit from heaven”.

When the song was being sung beside Sajjad Lone, top party leader Imran Ansari, and PC’s Lok Sabha candidate Raja Aijaz Ali, who were on stage also began clapping and applauding the speaker.

Separatist-turned-mainstream politician, Sajjad Lone had been a minister in the previous coalition government in the state. He has expressed his sympathy for the BJP in past, even going as far as to call Prime Minister Narendra Modi as his elder brother.

With only days left for the elections in north Kashmir, political parties have been campaigning in full force. But more than stressing on development and unemployment, the politicians are now highlighting what earlier used to be a concern of separatists, many of who were jailed.

In his rallies, Sajjad Lone talks about the protecting Articles 370 and 35A, which confers special rights to the state and its citizens, and said abrogation of it cannot be tolerated.

His rival, National Conference (NC) candidate, Akbar Lone in a rally in Langate area said that if Kashmir’s special status is tampered with, it will spell the end of the valley’s relationship with India. “Then we have other options,” he said, hinting at Pakistan.

Similar proclamations have been made by top politicians like Farooq Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti, Omar Abdullah and even those within the Congress fold. However, this is the first time, ever that a political party has invoked Jinnah’s name in its campaign against another party. Sajjad Lone was unavailable for comment.

first published:April 09, 2019, 11:47 IST
last updated:April 09, 2019, 13:06 IST