Don’t divide this country on basis of religion: Farooq Abdullah to Modi

JAMMU — National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah on Wednesday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of trying to divide people of the country on the basis of religion and said Muslims cannot snatch anyone’s rights.

He said the Congress-led INDIA bloc was formed to unite people and counter the challenge posed by the present dispensation, which, he claimed, is a threat to the survival of the nation and its Constitution.

“Do not divide this country on the basis of religion, otherwise a storm will unleash making the survival of the country difficult. It is better to talk about uniting the country, instead of dividing its people,” Abdullah, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister, said addressing an election rally in Thanamandi area of the Rajouri district to garner support for party candidate Mian Altaf.

Rajouri is part of the Anantnag parliamentary constituency, which is going to polls in the sixth phase on May 25. Altaf faces a direct challenge from PDP president and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, though there are 18 other candidates in the fray.

Criticising PM Modi’s recent speech in Agra that the Congress would “redistribute” people’s property if voted to power, Abdullah said, “We are Muslims and our Allah has told us to respect other religions… A Muslim cannot snatch anyone’s right.”

He accused the prime minister of trying to create a rift between Hindus and Muslims in the country.

“I want to tell Modi that former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi stopped his vehicle in Pulwama (south Kashmir) during a visit to assure a poor Hindu woman of ‘mangalsutra’ as a gift since she was not able to purchase it,” he said.

“Who is against this (INDIA) alliance is against the country. They are with those who want to divide us,” Abdullah said, adding “those voting for them should remember to prepare for hell (after death).”

He said the people of Muslim dominated Jammu and Kashmir chose Mahatma Gandhi’s India rather than Pakistan in 1947 because Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists and Christians were considered equals in India as per its Constitution.

The National Conference leader said the people of the country, irrespective of their religion, rendered numerous sacrifices for independence, while the ‘Sangh’ was allegedly busy pleasing the British rulers. — (PTI)