Indian Express

Tragedy for the state if India becomes communal: Farooq Abdullah

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National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah. National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah.

Union Minister and National Conference President Farooq Abdullah on Wednesday said if India becomes communal it will be a tragedy for the state.

After casting his vote here, he said his previous comments which evoked controversy were from his heart.

“Whatever I had said was from my heart. I have never said anything to get votes. I have placed truth before people. People have to see,” he told reporters.

“If India becomes communal that is a tragedy for the state. That is what we should be afraid of,” Farooq said when asked if Narendra Modi becomes the Prime Minister after the elections.

On if he would elaborate on the word “communal”, he said, “Why should I elaborate?”

Modi and the father-son duo of Farooq and Omar Abdullah have engaged in bitter sparring with the BJP Prime Ministerial candidate alleging that the biggest blow to secularism in India was delivered in Kashmir from where Kashmiri Pandits were forced out due to their religion.

Both Farooq and Omar have came out all guns blazing against Modi, saying Modi’s intention was to abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution which gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir, and asserting that this will never be acceptable to the people of the state.

Farooq has said the people of Kashmir will not remain with India if the country becomes communal and that those who vote for Modi should “drown” in the sea, evoking strong reaction from BJP.

At the same time, Farooq has said he had nothing against Modi as a person but was apprehensive about his agenda with regard to Jammu and Kashmir and Muslims.

The NC President is seeking re-election from the Srinagar Lok Sabha seat. He is up against several other candidates including PDP’s Tariq Hamid Karra.

“I have to do my work. If I win, we will join hands with secular forces to fight the communal forces. Inshallah! I will win,” he said.

On if PDP joins hands with BJP, he said, “How does that matter? Some will go there. Some will come here. I don’t think PDP will win even if they jump from the sky.”

Farooq has won the seat every time barring 1971 and 1996 when his party did not contest the polls.

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