In his first interview to the media since his release from detention in March, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah spoke exclusively to NDTV on the abrogation of Article 370. A day before the government ended special status to Jammu and Kashmir in August last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had given no indication of the move, Farooq Abdullah said. "Nobody can trust the government of India anymore. There is not a day when they don't lie," said the National Conference MP, adding, "This is not Gandhi's India."
Here are the highlights of Farooq Abdullah's conversation with NDTV:
I met the prime minister a day before the abrogation, he gave us no indication. When I met him, he didn't said anything. We had no idea at all. It just came out of the blue.
We were wonderstruck and I got to know only when I was told that I cannot go out any more. What did we do that we are put under home arrest? We have always stood for the nation.
This is the tragedy of the government of the day that they call the people who stand with the nation, separatists.
I couldn't get out of the door of my house. I had to beg to them when I needed to see a dentist, when I wanted to get my eyes checked. My phone lines were all cut. The only thing I had was a TV. Being a member of the parliament, I am supposed to have a phone. I was (treated) like a criminal.
Well, I would be glad if honourable retired judges could come and see whether Kashmiris have been brought closer or taken away from the nation. Yashwant Singh and Rahul Gandhi's delegations were sent back but they let their EU puppets visit Jammu and Kashmir. This is not Gandhi's India.
If we are happy with whatever they have done, why are there so many soldiers on the street?
People have lost faith in the democratic process of this government. It is impossible to trust them because of what they have done. There's not a day when they don't lie. They say everything is hunky dory and people of the nation are believing them.
We feel 35A should be returned to the state. Full statehood should return to the state. That's my demand. Enough is enough.
On Mehbooba Mufti being under home arrest: They think they can divide us by creating differences in the minds of people. But we are all one, whether we are outside or inside the prison.
Many stood by us. Ghulab Nabi Azad spoke for us. Sitaram Yechury stood by us. The Shiv Sena, too, stood by us and questioned what was achieved by the move in Jammu and Kashmir. Sharad Pawar ji also supported us.
I humbly request the prime minister to be honest. I want him to realise that what he did was not right. That it was his party's agenda, not this nation's.