Indian Express

Omar Abdullah hits out at BJP for anti-Muslim statements

Omar however did not discount that recent attacks on political workers in the Valley could have an impact on the voter turnout in the Lok Sabha elections in the state. Tweet This
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 Omar said people should have an 'open choice' to either vote or boycott the polls and they should not be 'threatened' to do so. Omar said people should have an 'open choice' to either vote or boycott the polls and they should not be 'threatened' to do so.

Lashing out at BJP and Sangh Pariwar, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Wednesday said the statements of some of their leaders against the Muslim community were part of a “well-planned conspiracy” to polarise voters in the ongoing elections.

“They are threatening time and again– be it (VHP leader Praveen) Togadia or Amit Shah or recently their candidate Giriraj (Singh) – this is being done as part of a well-planned conspiracy to divide people and to fight the elections on communal lines, this is their way,” he alleged.
Defending his criticism of BJP, Omar claimed he was not levelling any unfounded allegations against the party but only reacting to the statements made by its leaders.

“We are not levelling any unfounded allegations on them (BJP). If we have said anything, we have said that isbased on their statements and their threats every now and then especially to Muslims and those opposing Modi,” he told reporters. Questioning those calling for boycotting of elections in the state, Omar said people should have an “open choice” to either vote or boycott the polls and they should not be “threatened” to do so.

Omar however did not discount that recent attacks on political workers in the Valley could have an impact on the voter turnout in the Lok Sabha elections in the state. “There will be an impact and this is where I disagree (resorting to violence to enforce boycott). If you call for a boycott of the elections, then people should be left with an open choice to either boycott or not.

“When we do not threaten the people to vote, then why do they threaten them for a boycott?,” Omar said. The chief minister said those who call for the boycott of elections were not sure of its success and were “using fear” to keep the people away. “We do not drag people to a voting booth forcibly. Why are they using fear to keep people away from the elections? Either they do not believe in their own boycott call, and that is why they have to use guns. If that is so, admit. I feel they really are not sure of their boycott call, because if they would have been, then they would not have resorted to violence,” Omar said.

Omar accompanied his father and Union Minister Farooq Abdullah, who is fighting Lok Sabha elections from Srinagar constituency, to various public meetings. Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency going to polls on April30, is spread over four  districts of Srinagar, Budgam and Ganderbal. Omar represents Ganderbal assembly constituency in the state legislature.

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