The release of Dr. Farooq Abdullah, the patriarch of the grand old party of Jammu and Kashmir, is a clear indication that the Union Government is keen to revive the political activities now in the Union Territory after the abrogation of article 370 and 35A and the bifurcation of the state in two union territories on August 5, 2019.
The three-time Chief Minister of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir who is also the father of the former chief minister Omar Abdullah was placed under detention after the Centre decided to abrogate Article 370 and 35A that gave the special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
Farooq and his party have been strong supporters of giving more powers to Jammu and Kashmir and during his tenure as the chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir on June 26, 2000, the state assembly had passed a resolution to restore the autonomy of the state.
Farooq Abdullah whose party had cozy relations with the BJP as his son Omar Abdullah was a junior minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government shifted his loyalties towards Congress as Farooq was made a cabinet minister during the UPA 1 and UPA 2. Farooq has always tried to show his 'secular' credentials.
Farooq Abdullah, who was heckled in Kashmir soon after his return from Delhi after attending the last rites of the former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee where he had raised “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” slogans, has always said that he was an Indian by heart. However, he has often been blamed for giving one statement in Delhi, another in Jammu and a different one in Srinagar.
He had courted controversy when during the 111th birth anniversary of his father, he had “appealed” to the separatist leadership to unite for the cause of Kashmir, and this his party and his cadre would support them.
Now, all eyes would be fixed on Farooq Abdullah as post his release the political activities in now the Union territory are expected to get hotter.
Though Family sources have told Republic that Farooq may take some rest for few weeks before he resumes his travel as he recently underwent cataract surgery and might not attend the ongoing parliament session for next one week, but the politics of Kashmir is going be active very soon.
Many in Kashmir believe that Farooq and his party’s stand now would be to first “fight” for the restoration of the statehood for Jammu and Kashmir, but his stand would be made public once he recuperates from his cataract surgery and starts making public appearances.
With the release of Farooq Abdullah, voices are being raised for the release of other mainstream politicians including his son and former chief minister Omar Abdullah, PDP President and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti and several other mainstream politicians who were detained on August 5, 2019.
All the mainstream political parties in Jammu and Kashmir including BJP, Congress, CPI (M) have welcomed the government’s decision to release Farooq Abdullah.
The National Conference, the CPI (M) and Congress while welcoming the release of Dr Farooq Abdullah have demanded the release of all mainstream politicians in Jammu and Kashmir.