Bharatiya Janata Party leader Kavinder Gupta on Monday hit back at National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah for referring to the saffron party as a “divisive force”, reported PTI. Gupta said that divisive politics is the trademark of the National Conference and the party has attained expertise in the field.

The senior BJP leader said that terming the BJP “divisive” is an age-old tantrum of Abdullah to hide his party’s “misdoings by virtue of which Jammu and Kashmir has been ruined”.

The National Conference chief had on Sunday said that he wants the Congress to “unite and fight the divisive forces of the country”. He was apparently referring to the BJP. Abdullah made the comment after a group of dissenting Congress leaders had held an event in Jammu. Party leader Kapil Sibal had said that the Congress was getting weak and needed to be strengthened. His statement was echoed by other Congress leaders present at the event.

On Monday, Gupta, who was formerly a deputy chief minister in Jammu and Kashmir, alleged that the National Conference had played the communal card and missed no chance to divide the people of Jammu and Kashmir. The BJP leader also accused Abdullah of being an “opportunist”.

“It is the NC which is proficient in politics of deceit, deception and division,” Gupta said. “The BJP, on the other hand, believes in ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas’ [together, for everyone’s growth, with everyone’s trust] and ‘Sabka Vishwas’ [everyone’s confidence],” he said.

Gupta said it was Abdullah’s misdemeanour that led to tumultuous times in the Valley and Kashmiri Hindus were made refugees in their very own country. “Allowing all this to happen is divisive politics,” he said.

The BJP leader said that the BJP was bringing back misguided Kashmiris in the mainstream by restoring peace and opening up vistas of opportunities. This is something for which Abdullah has no words, he added.

Gupta also expressed sadness over the demise of Akash Mehra, the son of the owner of a popular eatery, who was shot by militants in Srinagar. Mehra had succumbed to his injuries after 10 days on Sunday.

Meanwhile, BJP spokesperson Tahir Chowdhary criticised the Jammu and Kashmir administration for failing to provide specialised treatment to Mehra.

“The victim could have been saved had the government taken crucial steps at earlier stages of his treatment,” Chowdhary, who is also a doctor, said. “The government and administration failed to provide specialised treatment to the victim. He could have been airlifted to anywhere in the country.”

Chowdhary also urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union home ministry, and Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha to provide adequate compensation to Mehra’s family at the earliest. He also asked them also ensure security to non-Kashmiris living in the Valley.