NC sacrificed for tricolour when others were selling ‘Azadi’ dreams: Omar

The NC vice president said it was his father Farooq Abdullah who in 1996 "went alone and restored democracy" in J-K, holding the Indian flag.

Srinagar: National Conference leader Omar Abdullah on Sunday asserted that his party has always held the national flag high and rendered sacrifices to safeguard it when others were “selling dreams of Azadi” to the people of J-K and pushing arms into the hands of the youths.

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“No one has any objection to someone hoisting the tricolour. Why should there be? I have myself hoisted the flag on Independence Day for six years. When have we not kept a relationship with the tricolour? We have rendered sacrifices for this flag since 1947,” the NC vice president told reporters in Kupwara.

“Those who are doing politics now have taken advantage of the gun also. They were enjoying when our colleagues in the NC were getting killed. They were selling dreams of Azadi to the people of J-K, they were pushing arms into the hands of the youths, those guns killed many NC workers. It happened only when we held this flag in our hands,” he said.

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The former chief minister also addressed a party workers’ convention in Langate area of the north Kashmir district.

The NC vice president said it was his father Farooq Abdullah who in 1996 “went alone and restored democracy” in J-K, holding the Indian flag.

“He sat on a police motorcycle on 15 August 2002 (as chief minister), holding the Tiranga and went around Bakshi Stadium, you can watch that video. We are not the ones who have politicised this flag.

“I have only said that you cannot win the hearts of the people by just showing them flags. People’s sentiments should be respected, their demands should be addressed,” he added.

On the anniversary of the 26/11 terror strikes in Mumbai, Abdullah expressed the hope that the country will never again see an attack like it in the future.

“That was a black day. It was an unfortunate incident. I think the biggest takeaway now is that there has not been an attack on such a scale in the country after that. We hope the country never sees an attack like 26/11 again,” Abdullah told reporters in Kupwara.

Omar slams BJP

The former chief minister also lashed out at the BJP over the delay in holding Assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir.

The BJP claims India is the mother of democracy, ” then why does it end after reaching Lakhanpur (the border of J-K)”, he said.

“Do the people of J-K not have a right to elect their government?

“The flag deserves respect by all means, and we know how to respect it. Thousands of my colleagues have sacrificed their lives in honour of this flag. We do not need any lessons from anyone on that. But, at least, the murder of democracy that is happening in J-K, that should stop,” he said.

The NC leader asked why the BJP was “shying away” from conducting elections in J-K.

“If the BJP is saying there is so much development, then let them conduct the elections here and give an opportunity to the people to vote for them. The people will vote for them if they have done so much work.

“Let them conduct elections, everything will be clear,” he added.

On dismissial of employees

On the issue of dismissal of some employees by the government on the charges of anti-national activities, the former chief minister said there should be a transparent process.

Asked about the controversy over disconnection of electricity supply over non-payment of bills, Abdullah said it is easy to trouble the common people.

“It is the government offices and security forces’ camps where maximum electricity is used. Meters should be installed there and their outstanding should be recovered first. Then poor people should be troubled,” he sai

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