PM contradicts his own slogan of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas’: Farooq Abdullah

JAMMU — National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday of dividing the people of the country on the basis of religion, saying his recent statements have even contradicted his own slogan of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas”.

The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister claimed that the hatred for Muslims has gone up ever since the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) assumed power at the Centre in 2014, while people are suffering due to inflation and growing unemployment.

“I have heard the (election) speeches of almost all prime ministers from Jawaharlal Nehru and except Modi, everyone always talked about uniting people as that is the guarantee for our success as a country.

“His (Modi’s) recent statements where he is talking about Muslims as outsiders, giving birth to more children, frightening Hindus by claiming that their properties, including the mangalsutras of their women, will be taken and distributed among the minority community have no parallel. We Muslims only want our rights and have no intention to usurp the rights of others,” Abdullah said, addressing a Lok Sabha poll rally in the Surankote area of Poonch district.

The rally was jointly organised by the NC and the Congress in support of Mian Altaf, the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) candidate from the Anantnag-Rajouri Lok Sabha constituency that is scheduled to go to polls on May 25.

“The NC and the Congress have come together to protect the country so that we can live with honour and die respectfully. Our country is still poverty-ridden and we can only overcome our problems when we are united,” Abdullah said.

He claimed that the winds of change are sweeping the country and the BJP is finding its government dangling, which is evident from the statements of the party’s top leaders.

“They are talking about ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas’, but the prime minister’s speeches contradict his oft-repeated slogan. The home minister (Amit Shah) meets specially-invited people in the presence of those close to the BJP with an aim to divide us.

“They are doing it in the darkness of night so that nobody can see them in the daytime,” the former Union minister said, asking people to pray that the “divisive” government falls and the hatred that was spread after 2014 is replaced with love, brotherhood and respect for each other.

He said Islam teaches Muslims to respect other religions and “we do not believe in hatred”.

“(Congress leader) Rahul Gandhi took out the Bharat Jodo Yatra from Kanyakumari to snow-bound Kashmir and later, the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra from Assam to Maharashtra. His only purpose was to unite the country in the face of growing hatred and understand the pain of the public,” Abdullah said.

He said Jammu and Kashmir acceded to Mahatma Gandhi’s India but the BJP has created a trust deficit between the people of the region and New Delhi.

“I am being dubbed by them as Pakistani, Khalistani, an American agent because I am talking straight. I am asking them that if they can talk to China, which has taken our land, why are they not talking to the neighbouring country (Pakistan) to pull us out of the turmoil? We are also citizens of the country,” the NC leader said.

Referring to his meeting with Modi as part of a delegation in June 2021, Abdullah said the prime minister had talked about ending “Dilli ki doori aur dil ki doori” and “we had suggested releasing the innocent people from Jammu and Kashmir languishing in jails in other states as a move to bridge the trust deficit”.

“They promised that all of them will be released after their cases are reviewed by a committee. Neither the committee was formed nor anyone released,” he said.

Abdullah said hundreds of NC leaders and workers were killed by militants because “we were standing with India”.

Praying for the success of the INDIA opposition bloc in the ongoing polls, he said he will request the Centre for the release of all innocent Kashmiris and a separate Lok Sabha constituency for the Rajouri-Poonch region that remains cut-off from south Kashmir’s Anantnag owing to the six-month closure of the Mughal road due to heavy snowfall.

Abdullah urged people to remain cautious and united, and said they should be prepared for the Assembly polls that are likely to be held after the culmination of the annual Amarnath Yatra in August. — (PTI)