Jammu: The new Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah on Monday cautioned political parties against playing “divisive politics” that divides people on communal or regional lines, saying it could further complicate the situation in the border state.
“The state is overcoming a bad phase of divisive politics and I am sure that this phase will be over soon. There have been vested interests in the valley as well as in Jammu, who have sacrificed the interests of people over petty politics. This need to be stopped at once,” the young Abdullah told the news agency shortly after taking oath as the youngest chief minister of the state.
He asked every party to stick to inclusive politics.
Abdullah, who will soon be relinquishing the post of National Conference president after taking over the reins of the state government, said, “the state has suffered enough and it was time to rebuild it by giving a fillip to its economy” and revive the dream of his grandfather Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah of “one Jammu and Kashmir” which is not divided on caste, communal or regional lines.
National Conference leader Omar Abdullah takes oath as the chief minister of Jammu & Kashmir on Monday. PTI photo
“Election time is over and let us all (political parties) gracefully move forward and work for uplifting the state from the economic turmoil...we need to bring more and more industries into the state. Unemployment is a curse for the state which needs to be fought and there is no way other than providing a conducive atmosphere for investment,” Omar, who was sworn-in along with nine other ministers, said.
Asked about the rationale behind his surprise meeting with rival PDP patron Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, Omar said, “Why not? He is a senior politician and I wanted to seek his cooperation as a responsible opposition. I will be meeting soon other leaders of various political parties. We need to walk together.”
Among the priorities before his government, Omar said he would like to focus on bringing down unemployment and eradicate corruption as this twin menace was eating into the vitals of the state. “Development has to be at the grassroot level and for this we need to have a corruption free state, come whatsoever.”
In reply to a question about his government’s policies in tackling the 19-year-old militancy and separatist activities, Omar said, “those misguided youths should see the futility of violence and join the mainstream as otherwise they will face tough action from the security forces.”
But while saying so, Omar said, “no security personnel will be allowed to commit any crimes or custodial killings in the name of countering militancy. Strict action will be taken not against the erring official but also against his superiors, if they fail to act in time.
“People need peace. They want to earn their daily bread peacefully and do not wish to see the role of gun anywhere,” he said.
Referring to separatists politics, the chief minister offered an olive branch to them asking them to understand the sentiments of the people and work for making their lives better.