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Article 370 cannot go without re-opening question of accession: Omar


Srinagar, April 7  ;

Contending the constitution’s article 370 granting special status to Jammu and Kashmir cannot be abrogated without reopening the question of its accession to India, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said Monday BJP’s three main manifesto promises are to hoodwink voters and it is not serious about fulfilling them.

Speaking to media persons on the sidelines of a National Conference (NC) election rally here, Abdullah said: “This is not the first time the BJP is trying to come to power. The BJP has been in power in the past also. Please remind me what steps the BJP took to address these issues – common civil code, Ram Mandir, article 370?

Omar Abdullah
Omar Abdullah

“To come to power, the BJP uses these handles. The moment the BJP arrive at their destination, they put them on the backburner.

“As far as article 370 is concerned, it cannot be revoked without-re-opening the entire question of the accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India. If the BJP is prepared to re-open that question, we are ready to discuss the issue.”

“All this talk about development is negated when Amit Shah stands up and says that this is for revenge. If revenge is their motive, then I think this country has a lot to fear from this personality cult that has been developed,” he said, referring to BJP general secretary and close aide of prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.

“Earlier we thought the people were being asked to vote for a BJP government, we thought the people were being asked to vote for an alliance government. Now it is not a BJP government or an alliance government.

“It is almost like the people are being asked to vote for the dictatorship of an individual and that individual is hell bent on revenge which is clear from his right-hand man who has let the cat out of the bag by mistake,” he said.

Talking about opinion polls, Abdullah said: “I am a great believer in not believing these opinion polls because more often than not, your polls are wrong.”

He said the fact of the matter is that the people will decide and that would be known by the middle of May.

“Whatever the people decide is obviously in their wisdom and we will accept it,” he said.

Attacking the BJP manifesto, he said the talk of development is a smokescreen because it must be understood that even in Gujarat, the social indicators indicate that it is a very bad place for being a poor person.

“The weaker sections of society in India will not get any better under the so-called Gujarat model, their condfitions would worsen. The industry may get better, but the general quality of life of an average Indian will not improve,” contended Abdullah.