The National Conference (NC) on Monday said the BJP is employing government agencies to target party president Farooq Abdullah after failing to fight him politically.
“The BJP, after failing to politically fight party president Farooq Abdullah, has resorted to employing its agencies for the task,” an NC spokesperson said in a statement here.
The party was reacting to an Enforcement Directorate (ED) summons issued to the Lok Sabha member from Srinagar.
The central agency questioned Abdullah, a former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister, on Monday in connection with a money-laundering probe in a case related to the alleged embezzlement of Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association funds, officials said.
They said the NC president’s statement will be recorded under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) as in the past.
The NC spokesperson said the ED summons to Abdullah is clearly the result of the unity the party president has been able to forge among mainstream political parties in Jammu and Kashmir in the shape of the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration.
“This is the price one faces when opposed to BJP’s ideology and divisive politics. Recent history is a witness to how the BJP has been employing coercive and intimidating measures through various departments to target opposition leaders across the country. The recent ED summons to Abdullah is a case in point,” the statement said.
The NC said the timing of the summons is very clear as the previous summons was issued just before August 5 last year, when the BJP-led Centre abrogated Article 370 of the Constitution, and this summons comes within days of forming the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration, of which Abdullah has taken a lead.
“Abdullah continues to maintain his innocence and will cooperate with the authorities in what is nothing but a witch-hunt,” the statement added.
Meanwhile, taking to Twitter, Abdullah’s son and NC vice-president Omar Abdullah described the ED summons as political vendetta.
“The party will be responding to this ED summons shortly. This is nothing less than political vendetta coming days after the formation of the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration. To set the record straight no raids are being conducted at Dr Sahib’s residence,” he wrote on Twitter.
People’s Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti said the ED summons displays the extent of the Government of India’s nervousness about mainstream parties in Jammu and Kashmir fighting as one unit.
“ED’s sudden summon to Farooq sahab displays the extent of GOIs nervousness about mainstream parties in J&K fighting as one unit. Also reeks of political vendetta & wont in the least blunt our collective resolve to fight for our rights,” she said in a tweet. People’s Conference leader Sajad Lone said the summons reeks of vendetta and will have an opposite impact to what the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) wants to achieve.
“What a sorry state of affairs. Dr Farooq sahib summoned by ED. Reeks of vendetta. Contrary to what they want to coercively achieve this will certainly have the opposite impact,” he said in a tweet.