In a scathing rebuttal of Narendra Modi's charge, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today said the exodus of Pandits from Kashmir took place under Jagmohan, who was appointed governor by the central government which was supported by BJP.
He said Modi's statement on the issue was an insult to Kashmiri people.
"When Kashmiri Pandits left the Valley, Jagmohan, who has not parted ways with BJP yet, as far as I know, was ruling the state (as Governor). Farooq Sahib was not in power.
"Jagmohan was appointed by Mufti Mohammad Sayeed (now PDP patron), who was the Home Minister in V P Singh cabinet. V P Singh was heading the government with BJP support.... I hope they (BJP leaders) remember this," he told reporters.
Hitting back at Farooq Abdullah for his remarks that those who vote for Modi should drown in sea, Modi today said the policies of Sheikh Abdullah, Farooq and his son Omar were responsible for communalising the state politics and for Kashmiri Pandits being driven out on the basis of religion.
"Majority of Kashmiri Muslims are pained at the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits and want them to come back. Modi has insulted the people of Kashmir by his statement," Omar said.
He said people of Kashmir do not need a lesson on secularism from BJP or Modi. "People of Kashmir gave a living example of secularism in 1947 when Muslims and Hindus were killing each other. I feel it is weird that Modi is giving a lecture on secularism to people of Kashmir," he added.
He said Amarnath Yatra, about which the BJP leaders often make noises, is facilitated by Kashmiri Muslims.
Omar said Modi had a problem of "distorting history to suit his own ends".
Omar asked why Modi did not campaign in the Valley.
"Modi sahib, you do not have the courage to come to Kashmir to seek votes. You have set out to become the Prime Minister of the country but you will not come to Kashmir for seeking votes.
"You will go to Jammu and Ladakh but not the Valley because the ideas you have for this place, the way you have tried to defame people, I don't think you will have any place in their hearts," Omar told reporters here.
Omar said the three BJP candidates in the Valley must be feeling orphaned as no senior leader turned up to campaign for them.