Reacting to Enforcement Directorate (ED) questioning him, on Monday, 19 October, in connection with the alleged misappropriation of Rs 43 crore when he was the chairman of the Jammu & Kashmir Cricket Association, National Conference Leader Farooq Abdullah, according to ANI, said:
"“This questioning has been going on for many years, it is nothing new. I am not going to say anything. The Court will decide what is to be done. I am not worried.”"
Further, according to ANI, the 82-year-old talked about their resolve to restore Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir how it is is bigger than him.
"“We have a long way to go, a long political battle that will continue whether Farooq Abdullah is alive or dead, on the stage or not on the stage. Our fight is for restoration of Article 370 and our resolve will never change even if I’ve to be hanged.”" - Farooq Abdullah, NC Leader
Meanwhile, soon after the news broke, his son and former J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah took to Twitter and said, “This is nothing less then political vendetta coming days after the formation of the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration.”
He also said that the National Conference would be responding to the Enforcement Directorate summons and clarified that no raids were being conducted at the NC President’s residence.
According to PTI, the ED said that Farooq Abdullah’s statement will be recorded under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) as in the past.
The ED case is based on an FIR filed by the CBI, which booked former JKCA office-bearers, including general secretary Mohammed Saleem Khan and former treasurer Ahsan Ahmad Mirza.
The NC also released a statement soon after, saying that the summon was the result of opposing BJP’s ideology.
“The ED summon to Dr Farooq Abdullah is clearly the result of the unity that Dr Sahib has been able to forge among mainstream political parties in J&K. This is the price one faces when opposed to BJP’s ideology and divisive politics. Recent history is a witness to how BJP has been employing coercive and intimidative measures through various departments to target opposition leaders across the country. The recent ED summon to Dr Farooq Abdullah is a case in point,” a party spokesperson said.
“Dr Farooq Abdullah continues to maintain his innocence and will cooperate with the authorities in what is nothing but a witch hunt,” the statement added.
Farooq, Mufti Give Shape to Alliance for ‘Restoring J&K’s Status’
Last week, Farooq Abdullah announced the People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration, with the aim to restore J&K's Constitutional status as it existed before 5 August last year.
The announcement came after an all-party meeting at Abdullah's residence in Srinagar, which was attended by Omar Abdullah and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti – who was released after over a year in detention, just two days prior to the meeting.
With this, the political parties in Kashmir gave a formal shape to their alliance formed after the revocation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir in 2019.
Before that, Farooq and Omar had paid a visit to Mufti at her residence, a day after she was released from detention.
"My father & I called on Mehbooba Mufti Sahiba this afternoon to enquire about her well-being after her release from detention. She has kindly accepted Farooq Sb’s invitation to join a meeting of the Gupkar Declaration signatories tomorrow afternoon [sic]," Omar Abdullah tweeted on Wednesday, after the visit.
(With inputs from ANI.)
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