The National Conference (NC) on Wednesday described as unfortunate the parallel being drawn between the situation in Jammu and Kashmir and Emergency in a bid to justify detention of political leaders, including party MP Farooq Abdullah, saying it clearly reflected the Centre's "parochial mindset and hypocrisy".
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) also joined in, hitting out at the Centre over its assertion that the situation was normal in the Kashmir Valley and reiterated its demand for release of all the political prisoners, including the three former chief ministers -- Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti.
The NC was reacting to Union Minister of the State for Home G Kishan Reddy's statement in parliament that 30 MPs were detained by the Congress during the Emergency when asked about the opposition's demand for allowing Mr Abdullah to attend the ongoing session.
"The comparison is ridiculous and so is the justification, not only because the BJP has all along apparently remained in the forefront to assail and oppose the emergency but it also exposes the inherent contradictions within the ruling party at the Centre about Kashmir situation," the NC said.
The party spokesperson said Mr Reddy's remark was an admission of the fact that Jammu and Kashmir is "virtually railing under the dark phase of Emergency".
"This is a cause of concern and worry for democratic people who have offered numerous sacrifices to uphold the high values of democracy in the country for over seven decades," he said, adding that such a statement betrays the idea of India.
He said the minister of state was also contradicting the assertion of his own home minister, who has described the situation in Jammu and Kashmir as normal.
If the situation is normal, why is there a communication blockade and continued detention of political leaders, the NC spokesperson asked.
The PDP also issued a statement here, calling for restoration of political activities in Jammu and Kashmir.
"The Bharatiya Janata Party has mastered the art of double speak, especially when it comes to Kashmir. Instead of rhetoric the authorities should immediately release illegally detained people including politicians," PDP spokesperson Firdous Ahmad Tak said in the statement.
Reacting to a statement by senior BJP leader Ram Madhav advocating resumption of political engagement in Jammu and Kashmir "sooner than later", the PDP leader said the party which has "trampled the entire constitutional apparatus to satisfy its ego has no moral right to speak about upholding constitutional rights".
"Those jailed since the last 100 days were carrying national flag in hands and swearing in by the Constitution. The demand for not fiddling with the constitutional guarantee was neither illegal nor extra-constitutional," he said.