BJP couldn’t win hearts of people in Kashmir after abrogation of Article 370: Omar Abdullah

SRINAGAR — National Conference (NC) vice president Omar Abdullah on Friday said the BJP had not fielded its candidates from the three Lok Sabha seats in Kashmir as the party and its government have allegedly not been able to win people’s hearts after the abrogation of Article 370.

“The importance of this election in itself is that it is the first time after August 2019 that the Lok Sabha elections are being held here. Also, in 2019, the BJP had fielded its candidates on all the seats (in the valley), this time the (Union) Home Minister (Amit Shah) says that we will first win the hearts of the people and then field the candidates.

“This simply means that they could not win the hearts of the people and the 2019 decisions have made people more angry and alienated,” Abdullah told reporters here.

The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister alleged the BJP was not directly contesting the elections in the Kashmir valley, but it was “holding the reins from behind”.

“If the BJP had left the field, it would have meant a lot in itself. But, they have not left the field. They are holding the reins from behind. (BJP national general secretary) Tarun Chugh’s arrival in the past days here and meeting some political parties.

“When the (Union) home minister talks about defeating the NC-Congress INDIA alliance, but he does not talk about defeating other political parties. You get to know with whom the BJP is connected,” Abdullah added.

When asked to comment on People’s Conference (PC) chief Sajad Lone calling him a “tourist” and belonging to an “elite class”, the NC leader said there was no secret that his fight in the north Kashmir constituency — from where Lone is also contesting — is against Delhi.

“Tarun Chugh comes to Srinagar and immediately calls Sajad Lone. And he (Lone) runs to meet him. And the home minister talks about defeating the NC, Congress and India alliance, but he does not talk about defeating the PC.

“This is how you come to know who is the power behind them,” he said.

He said the difference between his party and other parties like the PC and Altaf Bukhari-led Apni Party was that his party’s doors are closed for BJP.

“Our doors are closed for Tarun Chugh. Neither will he want to come, nor will we give him entry. This is the difference between Altaf Bukhari and us,” Abdullah said. — (PTI)