Srinagar: Opposition National Conference (NC) on Monday lambasted senior hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani allegedly for trying to bail out the ruling PDP-BJP coalition from the Goods and Services Tax (GST) row.
The criticism of Geelani came just ahead of the special four-day session of the state legislature beginning on Tuesday to debate implementation of the GST in state, which is presently the only state in the country that has not yet joined the news tax regime.
Geelani had said in a statement that the special status of the state was only a skeleton that was waiting to be buried and cautioned people not to get bogged down in the GST debate, which he said was aimed at derailing the core issue of Kashmir.
Geelani had blamed the past NC governments and other successive state governments for eroding the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.
Geelani had squarely blamed NC founder late Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah, whose accord with the Centre in 1975 was “the last nail in the coffin of J&K’s special status”, according to the octogenarian separatist leader.
Geelani had also said that the GST was an issue to be sorted out by businessmen and intellectuals by ensuring that their demands were satisfactorily met.
The NC statement, signed by many of its senior leaders issued on Monday, said: “Geelani is aware of the fact that the NC never allowed any compromise with the State’s special status from 1949 to 1953.
“In 1953, Sher-e-Kashmir Sheikh Muhamamd Abdullah’s unconstitutional and illegitimate dismissal and consequent incarceration paved way for the erosion of Article 370 at the hands of successive pliant regimes in the state.
“These constitutional machinations against the state and its people continued till 1975 through these pliant regimes while Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah and most of the leadership of NC were under incarceration.
“In 1977, after the NC came to power, Geelani who was an MLA at that time is a witness as a member of that legislative assembly that the NC-led government never compromised with the special status of the State.
“His baseless rhetoric today is devoid of facts to which he himself is privy as a former legislator. The deceptive posturing of Geelani on GST is a design to subvert the cause of the people of Jammu and Kashmir and to bail out the present rulers of the state, who are hell-bent to trample the aspirations of the people of J&K at the behest of the powers that be in New Delhi.”