Dr Farooq cautions against divisive politics, calls for unity
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JAMMU: Without naming the BJP, National Conference President Dr Farooq Abdullah on Wednesday expressed concern over divisive politics, saying this has taken the toll of unity across the country, a statement issued here said.

“Seeking votes on religion is a dangerous trend, which is not only against the standing norms of Election Commission of India but also opposite to the time-tested amity and brotherhood of the country”, Dr Farooq Abdullah told a gathering at the sidelines of a social function here this evening.

Besides Provincial President Devender Singh Rana, State Secretary Surjeet Singh Slathia was among the senior leaders present on the occasion.

National Conference President said neither Allah nor Lord Rama need votes and those exploiting people by emotive slogans during election times are actually disrespecting their religion.

He said divisive and hate politics has taken toll of the unity, which is crucial for survival of multi-religious and multi-lingual country like India. He urged the people to keep guard against attempts of inciting passions on religious issues, especially in the run up to the 2019 elections, saying such tactics have to be fought unitedly. He said divisive politics is against the ethos of this great nation, which is abode of all, irrespective of religion, region or culture. He drew comparison between British and the prevailing divide and rule policy of the BJP, saying this has created a dangerous situation. He, however, exuded confidence that the people will foil all such attempts by keeping the flame of secularism shinning despite provocations.

Dr Farooq Abdullah also discussed Triple Talaq issue, saying the government must not intervene in the religious matters and the issue should have been left to the All India Muslim Personal Law Board.

On overall situation in the State, National Conference President said the security scenario in Kashmir is worrisome and the youth were getting alienated fast. “This trend has to be arrested”, he said and called for mandating a strong government to bring the alienated youth back to mainstream. He attributed many factors to the alienation and stressed the need for building trust and sense of confidence among the people. He said the rhetoric on scrapping Article 370 or tinkering with 35A of the Constitution is creating suspicion among the people about intentions of New Delhi. He said Article 35A is the manifestation of state subject laws enacted by the Maharaja Hari Singh. He asserted that National Conference will fight tooth and nail any attempt of weakening the special status of the state.

He stressed the need for peace and said this can be achieved by addressing the political issues internally and holding dialogue with Pakistan. He said the biggest beneficiaries of thaw between the two countries would be the people of Jammu and Kashmir, who are passing through most difficult times.

“Pakistan Prime Minister has expressed keenness to hold the dialogue and India must reciprocate for larger interest of peace”, he added.

Making scathing attack on the economic policy of the NDA led government, the former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister said the economy of the country is in shambles with rupee losing its value. He referred to demonetization and introduction of the GST and said the Governor of Reserve Bank of India, who quit his post, criticized the demonetization. He said the RBI is facing crisis like situation as the present dispensation wanted to utilize its reserves for some populist measures ahead of the general elections.

Dr Farooq Abdullah questioned the BJP led NDA government’s failure in keeping up the promises made to the people of India, especially the youth. He said where are Rs 15 lakh packs that had to go in the accounts of each Indian or over two crore jobs for youth. He said instead of creating jobs, this government creating unemployment as a result of GST which has hugely impacted small scale industries besides trade and commerce. He said the big industry was running out of the country. He recalled how the BJP led five state governments had refused the UPA proposed GST, which could have been put in place after some amends.

He also expressed concern over increasing suicides by farmers, saying they were ignored by the present dispensation at the Centre. He said the government ignored rural India, which is why the country is facing multi-faceted challenges, the critical situation of the farmers being the crucial one. He recalled the revolutionary Land Reform Act brought in by Sher-e-Kashmir Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah as a result of which the tillers became masters of their holdings overnight. “It is because of the land to tiller measure that not a single farmer of Jammu and Kashmir was forced to take the extreme step of committing suicide”, he added.

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