PM contradicts 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas': Farooq Abdullah

Anti-Muslim hate has gone up ever since the BJP came to power in 2014, he says, while the people suffer inflation and growing unemployment

Farooq Abdullah (right) of the National Conference, son Omar Abdullah (left) and grandsons (behind) vote in Srinagar (photo: PTI)
Farooq Abdullah (right) of the National Conference, son Omar Abdullah (left) and grandsons (behind) vote in Srinagar (photo: PTI)


National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday, 18 May, of contradicting his own slogan of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas (In solidarity with everyone, development for everyone, with the trust of all)'.

The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister claimed that hatred for Muslims has gone up ever since the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) assumed power at the Centre in 2014, while people are suffering due to inflation and growing unemployment. The prime minister, he alleged, kept making statements that were dividing the people of the country on the basis of religion.

"I have heard the (election) speeches of almost all prime ministers from Jawaharlal Nehru, and except Modi, everyone always talked about uniting people as that is the guarantee for our success as a country.

"His (Modi's) recent statements where he is talking about Muslims as outsiders, giving birth to more children, frightening Hindus by claiming that their properties, including the mangalsutras of their women, will be taken and distributed among the minority community have no parallel,"Abdullah said, addressing a Lok Sabha poll rally in the Surankote area of Poonch district.

We Muslims only want our rights and have no intention to usurp the rights of others

The rally was jointly organised by the NC and the Congress in support of Mian Altaf, the INDIA (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance) candidate from the Anantnag–Rajouri Lok Sabha constituency, which is scheduled to go to the polls on 25 May.

Abdullah said:

The NC and the Congress have come together to protect the country so that we can live with honour and die respectfully.
Our country is still poverty-ridden and we can only overcome our problems when we are united

Abdullah said that winds of change are sweeping the country and the BJP is finding its government dangling, which is evident from the statements of the party's top leaders.

"They are talking about 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas', but the prime minister's speeches contradict his oft-repeated slogan. The home minister (Amit Shah) meets specially invited people in the presence of those close to the BJP with an aim to divide us.

"They are doing it in the darkness of night so that nobody can see them in the daytime," the former Union minister said, asking people to pray that the "divisive government" falls and the hatred that was spread after 2014 is replaced with love, brotherhood and respect for each other.

He reminded his audience that Islam teaches Muslims to respect other religions and "we do not believe in hatred".

"(Congress leader) Rahul Gandhi took out the Bharat Jodo Yatra from Kanyakumari to snow-bound Kashmir and later, the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra from Assam to Maharashtra. His only purpose was to unite the country in the face of growing hatred and understand the pain of the public," Abdullah said.

He said Jammu and Kashmir acceded to Mahatma Gandhi's India, but the BJP has created a trust deficit between the people of the region and New Delhi.

I am being dubbed by them as Pakistani, Khalistani, an American agent because I am talking straight.

"I am asking them that if they can talk to China, which has taken our land, why are they not talking to the neighbouring country (Pakistan) to pull us out of the turmoil? We are also citizens of the country," the NC leader said.

Referring to his meeting with Modi as part of a delegation in June 2021, Abdullah said the prime minister had talked about ending "Dilli ki doori aur dil ki doori (the distance to Delhi/the Centre and the distance between hearts)".

We had suggested releasing the innocent people from Jammu and Kashmir languishing in jails in other states as a move to bridge the trust deficit
They promised that all of them will be released after their cases are reviewed by a committee. Neither the committee was formed nor anyone released

Abdullah said hundreds of NC leaders and workers were killed by terrorists because "we were standing with India".

Praying for the success of the INDIA bloc in the ongoing polls, he said he will request the Centre for the release of all innocent Kashmiris and a separate Lok Sabha constituency for the Rajouri–Poonch region, which remains cut off from south Kashmir's Anantnag owing to the six-month closure of the Mughal road due to heavy snowfall.

Abdullah urged people to remain cautious and united, and said they should be prepared for the Assembly polls that are likely to be held after the culmination of the annual Amarnath Yatra in August.

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