press trust of india
Srinagar, 7 July
The ruling National Conference (NC) will never be a part of the NDA, the party working President and Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah categorically made it clear today.
Omar does not see a situation in which NC, which has 3 Lok Sabha MPs and 2 Rajya Sabha MPs, would enter into “any sort of alliance” with the BJP in the future.
The chief minister said his party has only two options ~ the UPA and “in the past we have been a part of a United Front dispensation which is a sort of coming together of regional parties”. The NDA was not an option, he added.
Asked about the NC’s previous alliance with the BJP in the NDA, he said: “The NC’s relationship was not a relationship between the BJP and the NC. It was largely between the National Conference and Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee because he was seen as a unifying force who brought people together, who put aside regional issues in the national interest, who actually looked at
problems of the state and sought to resolve them.”
He said the railway line connecting Kashmir to rest of the country was a vision of Indira Gandhi which was fulfilled by Mr Vajpayee when he declared the railway project as a national project of utmost importance.
“I don’t see a situation, particularly in the current leadership, in the BJP and looking at the future leadership of the BJP, the NC will never enter into any sort of alliance with them,” he said.
Asked whether the NC would be part of the third front, he said: “We are not like the Samajwadi or the BSP which are part of the UPA yet not a part of the UPA; that come for one anniversary dinner and don’t come for the second anniversary dinner."
Mr Omar took a dig at Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and said: “Imagine, Chief Minister of Gujarat heading a coalition in Delhi, you think he will manage easily. I think he will struggle and struggle enormously because the way he is used to his law being command or his word being law in Gujarat will not happen if he happens to reach the pinnacle of power in Delhi.
Though I don’t expect him to reach there and I am only painting a hypothetical picture for you.”
Hitting out at BJP leader L K Advani’s statement on abrogation of Article 370 that grants special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir, Omar said the period before any Lok Sabha elections is the only time they rake it up.
Omar said with elections round the corner, the BJP would be raising “three pet issues” ~ common civil code, Article 370 and lastly, the Ram Mandir issue.