BJP’s reaction to opposition meet in Patna shows it was a success: Omar Abdullah

He also said militancy will not come to an end in J&K till the time the BJP is at the helm.

Srinagar: National Conference (NC) leader Omar Abdullah on Monday said the reaction of the BJP leadership, including Union Home Minister Amit Shah, is proof that the meeting of opposition parties in Patna was a success.

He also said militancy will not come to an end in Jammu and Kashmir till the time the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is at the helm.

“Time will prove whether it (the opposition meet) was a photo shoot or not. If the entire BJP leadership, including the home minister who is the second most powerful person in the country, has issued a statement about the meeting, it gives you some idea about its success.

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“What will be the outcome of this meeting, please wait till (the) 2024 (Lok Sabha polls). Why are you so worried now?” Abdullah asked reporters in the Daksum area of south Kashmir’s Anantnag district, around 100 kilometres from here.

Leaders of opposition parties met in Patna on Friday to chalk out a common strategy to unitedly take on the ruling BJP in next year’s general election. The meeting was convened by Bihar Chief Minister and Janata Dal (United) chief Nitish Kumar. Abdullah and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti attended the meet among others.

Reacting to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s statement on removal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) from Jammu and Kashmir, Abdullah said militancy will not come to an end in the Union Territory till the time the BJP is at the helm.

“Peace cannot be restored while they (BJP) are there, we have seen that. Militancy has been revived in the areas that were declared militancy-free and we could have considered removing the AFSPA from these areas before 2014.

“There is no place in Kashmir where militancy is not seen. What we have seen in Rajouri-Poonch shows that effects of militancy are seen in those areas where there was none a few years ago. This much can be said that militancy will not end in Jammu and Kashmir till they (BJP) are in power,” he added.

Asked about the NC’s stand on elections in Jammu and Kashmir, the former chief minister said decisions to boycott polls in the past were taken under certain circumstances.

“Today, the situation is that we are not ready to boycott any election. We will participate in all elections and make our best effort to win,” he said.

On an alleged incident of Army personnel forcing people to shout “Jai Shri Ram” inside a mosque in Pulwama district, Abdullah said it needs to be investigated and those guilty should be punished.

On the ethnic violence in Manipur, the former Union minister said it is a matter of regret.

“It is more regrettable that it has been going on for more than 50 days now. There is no end to the bloodshed there but since the place is so far from Delhi, probably it is being ignored. We hope that the Centre will make all efforts to restore peace there,” he added.

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