India

"Political Vendetta": National Conference On Farooq Abdullah Questioning

The last time Farooq Abdullah was summoned by the agency was before August 5.

New Delhi:

Senior politician Farooq Abdullah was questioned by the Enforcement Directorate today in connection with alleged irregularities in the Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association. His party National Conference linked the questioning to the recent move by Farooq Abdullah to bring together all J&K parties in a campaign for restoring special status.

The Enforcement Directorate, which investigates financial crimes, has taken note of the CBI's investigation into money-laundering allegations connected to the J&K cricket body. The CBI had earlier filed a chargesheet against Mr Abdullah, a National Conference MP, and three others, for alleged misappropriation of funds to the tune of Rs 43.69 crore between 2002-11.

"The letter from the Enforcement Directorate came after the Gupkar declaration. It is clear political vendetta after the 'People's Alliance' was formed in Kashmir," said a National Conference spokesperson on Monday.

"We knew it was coming," said the party, adding that the ruling BJP at the centre was using its agencies to fight the new political formation because it "couldn't fight it politically".

The last time Mr Abdullah, 82, was summoned by the agency was before August 5, when the centre ended special status to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 and divided it into two union territories.

Mr Abdullah, his son Omar Abdullah and PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti - all former Chief Ministers - were among scores of politicians detained after that move.

While the Abdullahs, detained under the stringent Public Safety Act, were released earlier this year, Mehbooba Mufti was freed last Tuesday.

Soon after, Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti, Sajjad Lone and others came together on Thursday and formed the "People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration" to fight for the restoration of Article 370 and "resolution of Kashmir".

Mr Abdullah had said: "Our battle is a constitutional battle, we want the Government of India to return to the people of the state the rights they held before 5th August 2019. We shall struggle for restoration of what was snatched from Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh."

The Gupkar Declaration was signed on August 4, 2019, after an all-party meeting at the Gupkar Road home of Mr Abdullah in Srinagar. Regional parties and the Congress resolved to protect Jammu and Kashmir's special constitutional status and fight against any move to dilute it. Two days later, the Centre enforced its massive Article 370 decision.