Press Trust of india

Farooq Abdullah rehashes Omar Abdullah’s assertions on NOT sharing seats

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Says ‘NC will win 3 LS seats in Kashmir for INDIA bloc, alliance will grow’

Jammu: After PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti expressed unhappiness over the National Conference’s decision to contest all three Lok Sabha constituencies in Kashmir, NC president Farooq Abdullah on Saturday said both parties are part of the INDIA coalition and the NC will win the seats for the alliance.

Mehbooba Mufti had on Friday said that the NC’s decision was “disappointing” and a “setback to the hopes of the people of J&K”. She also accused the NC of reducing their Peoples’ Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) to a “joke”.

“I do not know what she (Mufti) had said… National Conference stands on its own feet and has won three seats (in the 2019 general elections). We are part of the alliance and she is also part of the alliance. If the National Conference wins (these seats) again, they will win it for the INDIA alliance; so what is the problem,” Abdullah told reporters here.

The NC leader said he is sure that the INDIA alliance will always grow because it is needed “for the future of India and democracy”. He said that “everybody wants a secular India where we all can live in peace, harmony and progress”.

“India is for all. India is not Pakistan. The Constitution of India was framed on the lines that we are all one. How does that matter what religion you hold and what language you speak and what your culture is; it is a united India,” he said.

Asked about Mehbooba Mufti’s remarks on PAGD, he said Assembly elections are coming and “we will see what we will do. I am sure they (BJP-led government) will try to hold the assembly polls with parliamentary elections.”

The NC has announced the party would contest the three seats in Kashmir valley and asked the Congress to contest two seats in the Jammu region. The party also said there would be a consensus candidate of NC and Congress on the Ladakh seat.

Jammu and Kashmir has five Lok Sabha seats, while Ladakh has one. In the last elections, while the NC won the three seats in Kashmir, the BJP won the two Jammu seats as well as the lone Ladakh seat.

On PAGD, Mufti on Friday said it was “difficult to see the unity break”.

“I regret that what we nurtured for five years has been shattered,” she said. The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister said that had the NC leadership discussed the issue with her, the PDP could have let the NC contest on all three seats in the valley.

However, she said the PDP was still a part of the INDIA bloc and the party would discuss the future strategy with the Congress.

Asked about the formation of a new government in Pakistan and its possible approach towards India, Abdullah on Saturday said Islamabad has to decide whether it wants peaceful relations with India or not.

“What Pakistan does, is their problem. It is their nation and it is for them to decide whether they want to live in peace with our nation or they don’t want to live in peace.

“Kashmir was acceded to India by Maharaja Hari Singh and that accession is even today and that will last forever,” he said, adding, “We are part of India and there is no problem for us. It is for them to decide what they want to do.”

To a query on Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav’s statement likening Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Adolf Hitler, he said, “I do not know what he had said and under what conditions”.

“He (Modi) is not a prime minister of BJP. People who voted for him are just 37 percent but once one becomes a prime minister he represents every Indian. He also represents 1.4 billion when he goes outside the country.

“He represents Muslim, Hindu, Sikhs, Christians and every other single religion and those who have no religion,” he said.

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