14 Sep 2020
National Conference president and the former Chief Minister of erstwhile state of J&K, Farooq Abdullah Monday attended the Lok Sabha for the first time after the BJP-led Central government abrogated Article 370 in August last year.
Abdullah, who arrived in New Delhi on Sunday, turned up in the Parliament in the morning after a gap of more than one year.
The NC president, who was welcomed by different leaders of opposition in the House, will remain in focus during the ongoing session since he remained in detention during the last two sessions.
On his return, Farooq expressed grave concern over the shortage of oxygen in Jammu Hospitals, saying the situation is reportedly quite worrisome particularly in the wake of alarming spike in COVID 19 cases during the past one week.
Responding to the Union Health Minister during Zero Hour in e Parliament on the opening day of the monsoon session, Farooq said, “As per media reports, the situation in Jammu Hospitals is worrisome. Reportedly hospitals managing COVID 19 cases are facing acute shortage of oxygen thereby putting the lives of critical corona virus patients at risk. It is distressing to know that nothing substantial is being done to alleviate the problem.”
He also raised the issue of dysfunctional 60 ventilators that are meant to provide life support to critically ill patients and called for immediate necessary measures to strengthen the healthcare support system to meet the challenge of pandemic.
According to observers, it would be interesting to watch whether he would he speak up for restoration of Article 370 during the ongoing session.
Abdullah’s party National Conference is also part of a six-party alliance, also comprising PDP and PC, which has pledged to strive for restoration of J&K’s special position and statehood.
It is worthwhile to mention that Abdullah was among more than 40 mainstream leaders, including former CMs, who were detained by the Centre hours before it abrogated Article 370.
In September last year, he was detained under the controversial Public Safety Act when a petition challenging his detention came up for hearing in the Supreme Court.
According to his PSA dossier prepared by J&K administration, Abdullah has tremendous potential for creating an environment of public disorder within Srinagar district and other parts of the Valley.
He was also accused of fanning the emotions of general masses against the Union of India, and instigating the public with statements against the unity and integrity of India.
“On the 11th birth anniversary of his father at Naseembagh Hazratbal, in December 2016… triggered controversy by making explicit overtures towards separatist conglomerate namely Hurriyat Conference by stating that they should unite with his party for the cause of Kashmir,” states the dossier.
In March this year, the administration revoked his PSA and set him free.