Srinagar, Feb 24: Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today accused the Centre of "slowly doing away" with the conditions on which the accession of the state to the Union of India had taken place, saying New Delhi has failed to keep its side of the agreement. He said the responsibility of maintaining the basis of J-K's accession to India lay more with the Centre than the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
"We should say this with courage that if the accession of Jammu and Kashmir happened, it happened on certain conditions. You cannot compare us with Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal because they acceded to India without any condition. "We had put conditions. We said we will join you but it should be your responsibility to look after three things - Finance, Communication and Defence, Foreign Affairs only and the rest will be ours. This is what we called autonomy.
What justice is this that even as we stand on our agreement, Delhi has not kept its word," the National Conference (NC) working president said addressing party workers on the first death anniversary of the party's former general secretary Sheikh Nazir.
He said it is an "ironic arrangement" that on one hand you tell us to talk about accession but "you are slowly doing away with those conditions on which that accession happened." "What type of agreement is this? If the accession has happened on certain basis, it is your responsibility to maintain that basis much more than it is the responsibility of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. "I seek forgiveness, but they (Centre) have failed to fulfil their responsibility.
That is why the situation in the state has deteriorated to such an extent," Omar said. Referring to the controversy over the state having a separate flag after a BJP member challenged it in a court, he said, the people of Jammu and Kashmir will protect the state's flag till their death. "We have inherited the state's flag when we acceded with you (India), but who are you to snatch our flag away? This flag is our identity, it is our mark.
The three lines on it are of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and we will protect this flag till our death," Omar said. Maintaining that the issue of Jammu and Kashmir was political and can only be resolved politically, he said it was surprising that some people thought even today that the solution to it lay in money.
He alleged that PDP wanted only money and not asking for anything political (from the BJP) to form the government in the state.