Srinagar, Apr. 28: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Monday said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi is the opposite of being secular, and added that he has insulted all Kashmiris through his statement.
“Modi has always used other people as his pawns and put words into their mouths, rather than saying that directly. He has always attacked other politicians through other people, but today, Modi has insulted the Kashmiri community in front of the whole nation,” said Abdullah.
“While attacking Farooq Abdullah (my father), he has attacked the community. He has said that if there are communal people in the country, it is the Kashmiris, and that they need to learn how to be secular,” he said.
“Modi giving a lecture of secularism to Kashmiris is ironical. If in this country, there is someone who is the absolute opposite of being secular, it is Modi. Modi knows a lot of things, but is weak in history. He wants to know the subject till the extent it suits him. We cannot expect someone who does not even know the correct name of Mahatma Gandhi to give a lecture on secularism,” he added.
“Modi is giving lecture on secularism to those people who have taught the country a lesson on secularism in 1947. When the whole country was in fire, when Hindus and Muslims in the country were killing each other, it was Kashmir that remained calm,” Abdullah said.
“It was in Kashmir, where Mahatma Gandhi saw the lamp of light. Today, you are teaching Kashmir a lesson on secularism,” he said.
“The Amarnath Yatra that he keeps talking about is carried on the shoulders of hundreds of Muslims. Today, thousands of people come to visit Vaishno Devi and Amarnath. This is the proof of our secularism,” he added.
He further said that Modi had brought up the topic of Kashmiri Pandits whenever it suited him.
“He remembers Kashmiri Pandits when it suits him. A few months back when he had come to Jammu, he remembered all the people here, but Kashmiri Pandits. Kashmiri Pandtis went back from Kashmir, and Kashmiri Muslims regret that and want them to come back and no one can deny this fact,” Abdullah said.
“It is his habit to manipulate history and present to the people. The National Conference is being targeted constantly. Kashmiri Pandits did not leave Kahsmir during the time of Farooq Abdullah, so he cannot blame him for it,” he said.
“It was because of Jagmohan Singh and the BJP, that they were driven away from Kashmir. Since the time the NC has come to power, Kashmiri Pandits have never been targeted. My people do not need a certificate on secularism from Modi of all the people,” he added.
Earlier in the day, reacting to National Conference (NC) chief Farooq Abdullah’s statement that ‘people who vote for Modi should drown themselves in the sea’, Modi said that secularism is in his blood, and maintained that in his eyes, the Abdullah family were the sinners of Kashmir, consistently playing politics for their own gain and quest for power.
“I want to tell Farooq Abdullah, that secularism is in our blood, not just in our Constitution. Ours is a country that worships Mother Nature. Nobody is an outsider here. We consider the whole world as our family, and whole universe as ours. This is our society,” said Modi through a handout released by the Gujarat Chief Minister’s Office.
He claimed that the biggest attack on secularism happened in Kashmir when Farooq Abdullah’s father, Sheikh Abdullah, was the chief minister of the state.
“It happened because of the politics played by your father, Sheikh Abdullah, with you when you were chief minister, and now it is happening under your son, Omar Abdullah’s watch. Kashmir is the only state from where (Kashmiri) Pandits were thrown out on the basis of religion. The land of Sufi traditions was painted communal for your personal political gains,” he said.
“So, when you say that ‘people who vote for Modi should drown themselves in the sea’, then, this does not bring you glory. With what face can the people, who drove out Kashmiri Pandits from their homes, give lectures on secularism,” he added.
He also warned that votebank politics is dangerous for the country, and added that development-oriented politics is a commitment for him.
“Our agenda is “development for all.” We will follow this path irrespective of the statements from the people like Farooq Abdulla. Our car will not be derailed by such statements,” the handout from his office quoted him, as saying.
Jammu and Kashmir National Conference (NC) chief Farooq Abdullah had said Sunday that Kashmir will not be a part of India if Modi is voted to power.
Addressing an election rally, Abdullah, who is also Union New and Renewable Energy Minister, said the people of Kashmir wouldn’t accept a communal person.
“If it happens, then Kashmir will not remain a part of India. I say it publicly. Kashmiris will not accept a communal person,” said Abdullah.
Abdullah also hit out at people who have voted for Modi and said, “Those who vote for Modi should drown themselves in the sea,” he added. (ANI)