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EVM is chor machine: Farooq Abdullah

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Says Kashmiris killed, branded as Pakistanis and traitors

Srinagar, Jan 19: National Conference president Farooq Abdullah Saturday called the EVM the "chor machine" and demanded that the ballot paper system be brought back for the sake of transparency.

Speaking at the united opposition rally organised by TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee, he said, "It is not the question of ousting any single person (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) but of saving the country and honouring the sacrifices of those who fought for its freedom."

"The EVM is ‘chor’ machine. Honestly speaking, it is so. Its use must be put to an end. Nowhere in the world is the machine used. The opposition parties should approach the Election Commission and the President of India to stop the use of the EVM and bring back the old ballot papers for the sake of transparency," he said.

He blamed the BJP for the deteriorating situation in Jammu and Kashmir and said people are being divided on religious lines. "People are being branded as Pakistanis. But all people — right from Ladakh to elsewhere — want to continue in India.

"I am a Muslim and I love India, my country," he said.

“Look at Jammu and Kashmir. At what state has it been left in? People are being killed everywhere. And it is said that they are Pakistanis, they are traitors," Abdullah said according to news agency ANI.

Abdullah said there was a need to “finish BJP and for that it is important to fight the elections together.”

Abdullah, a Member Parliament from Srinagar in Lok Sabha, said people were being divided, on basis of where they come from and their religion.

"After 70 years, India has yet another challenge. That people are being divided on religious lines. Fire is being spread in the northeast (a reference to Citizenship Amendment Bill). If you want to save this country, everyone has to sacrifice something. We will have to unite to save the country. I am a Muslim, but a part of Hindustan, and every Kashmiri, be it from Jammu and Ladakh, wants to stay with India. In the last four years, the current government has given us problems from all sides,” he said, according to the report.

Continuing his tirade against the BJP, he said it stood for the Triple Talaq Bill in Parliament but did not pass the Women's Reservation Bill.

Urging for a united fight by opposition parties in the coming Lok Sabha election, he said the prime minister can be decided after the poll results.

"We have to fight and oust BJP. We have to come together to put up a one-to-one fight against it. We should fight together to strengthen our country," he said and hoped the new government will take the country forward.

Abdullah said this year “we want a new government at center that plays fair with institutions, in which we can all co-exist.

“India can be strengthened not by the Air Force or Army but only if our hearts are strong," the NC president added.

More than 20 top leaders, including three present chief ministers Arvind Kejriwal, Chandrababu Naidu and HD Kumaraswamy; and former chief ministers Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah, Akhilesh Yadav and Gegong Apang attended the rally.

The event's aim was to unite various political parties against the Narendra Modi-led BJP in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. (With inputs from PTI, ANI)

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