“Our Party Will Win All Seats In Kashmir, INDIA Bloc Will Grow”: Farooq Abdullah

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'Our Party Will Win All Seats In Kashmir, INDIA Bloc Will Grow': Farooq Abdullah

The National Conference President said his party and the PDP are both part of the INDIA alliance.


After People’s Democratic Party 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. He asserted that his party would win all three seats in Kashmir 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 and so what is the problem,” Mr 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 it matter what religion you follow, 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 the 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, Ms Mufti had said on Friday that 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, Mr 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 the BJP. People who voted for him are just 37 per cent 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 Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Christians and every other religion, and those who have no religion,” he said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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