Talks within INDIA bloc only on 3 LS seats held by BJP in J&K, Ladakh: Omar Abdullah

Talks within INDIA bloc only on 3 LS seats held by BJP in J&K, Ladakh: Omar Abdullah

Jammu, Feb 7: There will be talks within the Congress-led INDIA bloc only on three parliamentary seats which were won by the BJP in the last elections from Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah said on Wednesday.

Omar said the BJP-led central government has no courage to hold assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir together with the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls.

“There has been no talk on seat-sharing (within the INDIA alliance) so far. Congress is ready for the talks and they want us to talk to them. In the coming days, there will be a discussion, especially about the three seats (Jammu, Udhampur and Ladakh) which are with the BJP,” Omar told reporters here.

Besides the Congress and the National Conference (NC) which had won all the three parliamentary seats from Kashmir – Srinagar, Baramulla and Anantnag – in the 2019 elections, Mehbooba Mufti-led Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is also a part of the INDIA bloc from Jammu and Kashmir.

Omar said NC has also fought elections from Jammu, Udhampur and Ladakh constituencies in the past.

“We have won Jammu seat once and Ladakh more than once. We will sit and discuss which formula we should adopt so that we are able to get back the seats which are with BJP at present,” he said.

Responding to a clarification about his statement, he said, “The seats (won by NC in 2019) are INDIA alliance seats. What do I have to talk about with the INDIA alliance on these seats? The fight is not within the INDIA alliance. The fight is to take those seats back which are with the BJP. Since three seats are with the INDIA alliance, I do not need to discuss those with them.

“Why are you worried about the larger interest? Are you talking over such seats in any other state which are already with the INDIA alliance? The INDIA alliance has three seats, leave them. We will talk on the three seats which are with the BJP,” he said.

About the possibility of holding parliamentary and assembly elections together in Jammu and Kashmir, Omar said, “The BJP has no courage to conduct assembly elections (in J and K). They cannot face the public despite doing many things like abrogation of Article 370, redrawing the boundaries of constituencies as per their wishes through delimitation, changing all laws and reservation set up, Mandir (construction of Ram temple), Modi and money.”

On the BJP’s claims of improved situation and massive development in J and K, he said the situation in the twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch is before everyone to see.

“I was not allowed to go there (today). If the situation is good, what is the reason for placing restrictions on my programme? There is a difference between what is said and actually done. I have not seen such type of (terror) attacks in the two districts. How many of our brave soldiers lost their lives there in the past one year.

“In Kashmir, the last two years witnessed selective targeting of minorities. They are saying that militancy has come down but we do not see this on the ground,” he said.

He said barring law and order situation in 2010, the situation during his rule especially in 2011, 2012 and 2013 were far better and people still remember that period.

“I want to ask them, who are talking about improvement in the situation, to show us its impact on the ground. Is there any improvement in the supply of electricity and water to the consumers, creation of employment opportunities for the youth, improved health sector or any new college, university or industry opened?” he asked.

Asked about the BJP’s target of 370 plus seats in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, he said it is just a number. But one wonders why they have not enhanced the target to 500 seats after their 10-year rule, he added.

“Let us see where they are standing.” he said.–(PTI)

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