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BJP-dominant seats to be focus of I.N.D.I.A. bloc talks in J-K, Ladakh: Omar Abdullah

Besides the Congress and the National Conference (NC), Mehbooba Mufti-led Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is also a part of the I.N.D.I.A. bloc from Jammu and Kashmir.

Arushi Jaiswal Edited By: Arushi Jaiswal @JaiswalArushi Jammu Published on: February 07, 2024 18:27 IST
Omar Abdullah
Image Source : PTI National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah

2024 Lok Sabha elections: National Conference (NC) leader on Wednesday said that discussions within the Congress-led I.N.D.I.A. bloc will focus solely on the three parliamentary seats won by the BJP in the last elections from Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

"There has been no talk on seat-sharing (within the I.N.D.I.A. bloc) so far. Congress is ready for the talks and they want us to talk to them. In the coming days, there will be a discussion, especially about the three seats (Jammu, Udhampur and Ladakh) which are with the BJP,” Omar told reporters.

Apart from the Congress and the National Conference (NC), which secured victory in all three parliamentary seats from Kashmir – Srinagar, Baramulla, and Anantnag – during the 2019 elections, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), led by Mehbooba Mufti, is also part of the I.N.D.I.A. bloc from Jammu and Kashmir.

'Fight is not within I.N.D.I.A. bloc'

Omar said that his party the National Conference has previously contested elections from Jammu, Udhampur, and Ladakh constituencies, achieving victory in the Jammu seat once and in Ladakh more than once. "We will sit and discuss which formula we should adopt so that we are able to get back the seats which are with BJP at present,” he said.

Responding to a clarification about his statement, he said, “The seats (won by NC in 2019) are I.N.D.I.A. bloc seats. What do I have to talk about with the I.N.D.I.A. bloc on these seats? The fight is not within the I.N.D.I.A. bloc. The fight is to take those seats back which are with the BJP. Since three seats are with the I.N.D.I.A. bloc, I do not need to discuss those with them.

“Why are you worried about the larger interest? Are you talking over such seats in any other state which are already with the I.N.D.I.A. bloc? The I.N.D.I.A. bloc has three seats, leave them. We will talk on the three seats which are with the BJP,” he said.

Omar Abdullah on assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir

About the possibility of holding parliamentary and assembly elections together in Jammu and Kashmir, the former Chief Minister said that the BJP-led central government lacks the courage to conduct assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir together with the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls.

“The BJP has no courage to conduct assembly elections (in J-K). They cannot face the public despite doing many things like abrogation of Article 370, redrawing the boundaries of constituencies as per their wishes through delimitation, changing all laws and reservation set up, Mandir (construction of Ram temple), Modi and money," he said.

Omar Abdullah on cuurent situation in J-K

On the BJP's claims of improved situation and massive development in Jammu and Kashmir, he said the situation in the twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch is evident for all to witness. “I was not allowed to go there (today). If the situation is good, what is the reason for placing restrictions on my programme? There is a difference between what is said and actually done. I have not seen such type of (terror) attacks in the two districts. How many of our brave soldiers lost their lives there in the past one year.

"In Kashmir, the last two years witnessed selective targeting of minorities. They are saying that militancy has come down but we do not see this on the ground,” he said.

He mentioned that apart from the law and order situation in 2010, the conditions during his administration, particularly in 2011, 2012, and 2013, were significantly better, and people still remember that period.

“I want to ask them, who are talking about improvement in the situation, to show us its impact on the ground. Is there any improvement in the supply of electricity and water to the consumers, creation of employment opportunities for the youth, improved health sector or any new college, university or industry opened?” he asked.

Asked about the BJP’s target of 370 plus seats in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, he said it is just a number. But one wonders why they have not enhanced the target to 500 seats after their 10-year rule, he added. “Let us see where they are standing,” he said.



(With PTI inputs)

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