Farooq Abdullah rules out any delay in talks with INDIA bloc over seat sharing in J&K

JAMMU — National Conference president Farooq Abdullah on Friday ruled out any delay in talks with the INDIA bloc over the seat sharing in Jammu and Kashmir, adding that talks have already begun in this direction.

Abdullah’s statement comes after he recently flagged that there is a threat to the INDIA bloc if a consensus on seat sharing is not reached soon, asserting that some members may try to form a separate grouping.

In a discussion with former Union minister Kapil Sibal on his YouTube channel, the former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister had said, “If seat-sharing arrangement is not finalised then there is a threat to the alliance. It should be done in a time-bound manner. It is possible some may come together to form a separate alliance, which I feel is the biggest danger. There is still time.”

Speaking to reporters on Friday, Abdullah said his party has no problem with the INDIA alliance on the issue of seat sharing in Jammu and Kashmir, while asserting that interests of all have to be looked into.

“I don’t think there is any delay in seat sharing. They are already talking about it. It takes time. Everybody has their own interests, and those have to be looked into. I am sure it will be alright,” the former J-K chief minister told reporters here.

He further said his party has never had any difficulties in sorting out such issues with the Congress in the past and will not face any problems even now.

Responding to questions about his party giving up some seats in the coalition, the NC president said, “Why? This will depend on when we will talk to them (on this issue). We have never had difficulties with them in sorting that out. We are going to settle these things between us.”

Farooq Abdullah reiterated that there was “no problem at all on seat sharing”, adding, “We have no problem. Omar told you the other day.”

The NC chief was referring to a statement by his party’s vice-president Omar Abdullah on Wednesday regarding seat distribution.

Omar Abdullah had dismissed the talk of conflicts within the INDIA alliance.

“No talks have been held with the Congress on seat sharing. Our efforts should be to win all six seats and they should remain with the INDIA alliance,” he had said.

Replying to a question about the escalation at the Iran-Pakistan border amid Balochistan protection, Farooq Abdullah said, “Pakistan is not happy with Balochistan people receiving protection on the Iran border. They (Pakistan) feel that it is a threat to them. Other countries are resolving it.” — (PTI)