National Conference President Dr Farooq Abdullah on Friday said the seat sharing arrangement with the Congress for upcoming Lok Sabha elections in Jammu and Kashmir has been worked out to strengthen secular fabric of India by marginalizing and isolating the divisive forces.
“The tie up with the Congress is purely to keep the divisive forces at bay and in the larger interest of the nation, which is facing numerous challenges posed by elements inimical to the idea of India”. Dr Farooq Abdullah said while addressing the party functionaries, district and block presidents and secretaries of the Jammu province besides heads of various wings at Sher-e-Kashmir Bhavan here.
“Politics of divide and hate is detrimental to our unity and secular ethos and if not contained there is every apprehension of the country getting divided”, the National Conference President said adding that the parties believing in inclusiveness should come together to meet this challenge. He said his party took a conscious decision of not fielding Mr B. R. Kundal as its candidates from Jammu-Poonch seat, despite his track record of public service as a dedicated, devoted and honest top bureaucrat. He hoped the Congress to appreciate the need of strengthening the Mahaghatbandhan at the national level and in various states.
Dr Farooq Abdullah cautioned people against BJP’s reactionary politics, saying the agenda of Ram Mandir has been strategically put into back-burner in order to project Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi as the sole savior of the country. “Now nobody in the BJP camp is raking up Mandir politics and what they are harping on is that Modi alone can save this country”, he said and added that this is negating the great contribution of the successive Prime Ministers of India. He said ahead of Balakote, there was buzz in the national capital about something like this happening.
“In the backdrop of Balakote, the BJP is trying to divert the attention of people from failures of its five-year misrule”, National Conference chief said and asked the NDA government to explain as to where the promise about creation of two crore jobs annually evaporated. He said the prices have been witnessing alarming upward swing while the suicides of farmers had unfortunately increased manifold during the past five years. He said the country is suffering on all fronts.
He also questioned role of the BJP in Jammu and Kashmir during the past few years and referred to the overt and covert attempts of weakening Article 35A and Article 370. He said Article 35A was manifestation of the state subject laws enacted by the Maharaja to protect the interests of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. He said the people of the state will foil all attempts of tinkering with Article 35A, which stands guarantee to their rights, honour and dignity. He referred to the decision taken by Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Mr Kamal Nath with regard to provision of jobs to the residents of the state and said Jammu and Kashmir cannot allow its special identity getting weakened in any way.
Dr Farooq Abdullah reminded the cadre of the sacrifices made by National Conference for maintaining peace and tranquility in the State and strengthening democracy. He said many of its leaders and workers gave their lives for honour and dignity of the people.
National Conference Provincial President Mr Devender Singh Rana also spoke on the occasion.
The Congress nominees for Udhampur parliamentary constituency Mr Vikramdittya Singh and Jammu seat Mr Mr Raman Bhalla also joined the meeting, expressed their gratitude to Dr Farooq Abdullah for lending support to them and hoped the arrangement between National Conference and Congress top leaders will yield desired results in foiling the machinations of the BJP to divide Indian polity on religious lines.
Prominent among those present on the occasion included senior NC leaders, former ministers, former legislators, state level functionaries, provincial heads of various wings of the party, district and block presidents and secretaries.