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Jammu KashmirBJP’s campaigning thrust proves Jitendra on weak wicket: Omar

BJP’s campaigning thrust proves Jitendra on weak wicket: Omar


Srinagar, Apr 17: National Conference (NC) vice president Omar Abdullah on Wednesday said the BJP sending its top star campaigners including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Minister Rajnath Singh to indicates that their candidate in Udhampur seat is on a sticky wicket.

“The atmosphere (of support for the Congress) is very good. I saw the response across the Chenab Valley and in the Congress programmes in Kathua and Udhampur. I feel it will be very difficult for the BJP to retain this seat,” Abdullah told reporters here in south Kashmir.

The former chief minister addressed an election meeting at Larnoo in the south Kashmir district.

He said the BJP has sent its main campaigners to campaign for the seat from which Union minister Jitendra Singh is seeking his re-election.

“The prime minister came, UP chief minister came, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh came and Anurag Thakur was there for a couple of days. Sending so many star campaigners there tells you that Jitender Singh is perhaps in some danger there,” the NC leader added.

Asked why the Congress party leaders were not coming out in support for the NC candidates in the valley, Abdullah said the campaign has just started and the Congress leaders will be present in the election meetings of the NC.

“The campaign has just started. I went to Udhampur in the last four days of the campaigning. (NC candidate) Mian Altaf will submit his nomination papers tomorrow and senior Congress leaders will be present.

“We will do public meetings jointly after consulting with them. If you do not see them by the end (of campaigning), then you ask me,” he said.

Abdullah said Union Home Minister Amit Shah has signaled that the party will not contest the three seats in Kashmir.

“He has perhaps signaled that the party will not field its candidates in Kashmir. In a programme in Jammu, he said the BJP is in no hurry to ensure blooming of the Lotus in Kashmir. In 2019, the BJP had fielded its candidates in all the seats and they tried for the Lotus to bloom then. But they failed,” he said.

Referring to Altaf Bukhari-led Apni Party and Sajad Lone-led People Conference (PC), Abdullah said the BJP is not contesting these elections because they are fighting the polls with other parties.

“We are openly fighting this election under the alliance. The BJP is trying to hide this, but they have failed on that too. Recently, (BJP national general secretary) (Tarun) Chugh visited Bukhari's residence in Srinagar and then called Lone there. It makes it clear that the BJP may not directly be contesting but Apni Party and PC are contesting on the Lotus symbol. This is their plan,” he said.

However, Abdullah said he feels the people have understood this plan and “these people, who are contesting on behalf of the BJP, will find it impossible to win the polls”.

He said since the BJP “has not been able to win the hearts of the people, so they cannot win the elections and that is why they are not contesting”.

“Our candidate is the best candidate for the seat. Mian Altaf is the only candidate who can represent the people truly on both sides of the mountains. And I hope the people will also accept it when the voting day comes,” he added.

On Democratic Progressive Azad Party (DPAP) chief Ghulam Nabi Azad's tourist remarks on him, Abdullah said how many remarks of a “frustrated man” should he respond to.

“He is now free from elections. There is no candidate of his party from any other seat. And now that he has caught the disease of frustration, he should find a cure of it in Delhi as he lives there,” he said.

The NC vice president said he expected a better voter turnout in the polls.

“I think the people are looking forward to an opportunity to make themselves heard. How much of a difference that will make in the turnouts in this election as opposed to the previous elections, remains to be seen.

“We are hopeful that the levels of unhappiness and the way J-K has been governed over the last five years and everything else that has happened here, that people will come out in large numbers and make their voices heard,” he said.

He said these elections are symbolic for a number of reasons.

“They are taking place directly under the Delhi rule. We have not had an elected state government from 2018. That itself is important. As far as the BJP claiming that the parties like mine have lost ground, I would like to ask where is the BJP on ground, Abdullah said.

“The BJP has consciously avoided fielding candidates for the three valley seats. So, it is not the NC that has lost the ground. It is actually the BJP because in 2019, they fielded candidates in all the six J-K seats including ,” he said.

“Clearly, they are interested in propping up some local parties. Their entire attempt is to use these people to get a result which otherwise the BJP would not have been able to,” Abdullah said.


The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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