Mufti also hit out at the BJP leader for questioning the credentials of former allies of the saffron party.
Srinagar: BJP general secretary Ram Madhav on Thursday withdrew his words after a furious former Jammu and Kashmir chief Minister and National Conference (NC) leader Omar Abdullah dared him to prove his allegations or “be man enough to apologise” for his comment that there is Pakistani hand in alliance between his party and Mehbooba Mufti’s Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP). Ms Mufti also hit out at the BJP leader for questioning the credentials of former allies of the saffron party.
Addressing a press conference here, Mr Abdullah said, “It’s unfortunate that a senior BJP leader has said we have got instructions from Pakistan. I challenge Ram Madhav sahib and his associates to prove this with evidence. You are disrespecting sacrifices of my more than 3,000 party colleagues who refused to dance at Pakistan’s instructions and were killed.”
“If you have courage Ram Madhav, bring the proof of your accusation to the people’s court. Let us see where you stand. Stop this politics of cowardice. We have seen a lot of people like you who indulge in shoot-and-scoot politics. You level baseless allegations and then lie low. You should either give proof of allegations or apologise,” said Mr Abdullah.
Mr Abdullah also took to micro-blogging site and said, “I dare you @rammadhavbjp ji to prove your allegation. You have RAW, NIA & IB at your command (CBI too is your parrot) so have the guts to place evidence in the public domain. Either prove this or be man enough to apologise. Don’t practice shoot & scoot politics.”
Former chief minister and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti also hit out at the BJP for alleging that regional parties were working at Pakistan’s behest, saying credentials of the NC and the PDP were not questioned when they were in alliance with the saffron party.
“Both PDP and NC have been allies of BJP at some point. Strange that our credentials weren’t questioned then. But just because our MLAs had enough integrity to stand up to your (BJP’s) failed attempts of defection, they are now anti nationalistic?” she tweeted.
Leaders from both the NC and the BJP exchanged sharp words on Twitter through the day and dissected governor Satya Pal Malik’s decision to dissolve the 87-member Assembly and pushing the state towards fresh polls which are likely to be held before May 2019.
Mr Madhav asked Mr Abdullah to fight the next polls together with the PDP if “genuine love” between the two parties promoted a “failed government” formation attempt.
The BJP leader, in a tweet, said, “Just take it in your stride Omar Abdullah. Not questioning your patriotism at all. But the sudden love between the NC and the PDP and the hurry to form government leads to many suspicions and political comments. Not to offend you.” In the tweet, he added an emoji with a toothy smile.
Mr Madhav had earlier alleged, “PDP&NC boycotted local body polls last month because they had instructions from across the border. Probably they had fresh instructions from across the border to come together & form govt. What they did prompted Guv to look into the whole issue.”
In another tweet, the Mr Abdullah wrote, “No, misplaced attempts at humour won’t work. You have claimed my party has been acting at the behest of Pakistan. I dare you to prove it! Place the evidence of your allegation of NC boycott of ULB polls at Pak behest in public domain. It’s an open challenge to you & your govt.”