Personal remarks on PM backfire, secure self-goal for opposition: Omar

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Srinagar: National Conference (NC) vice president Omar Abdullah here on Friday said personal attacks on Prime Minister Narendra Modi backfire for the opposition and slogans about his family only secure a self-goal.

Omar Abdullah’s remarks came in response to a question about RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav’s jibe on the prime minister for having no family. Omar Abdullah, whose party is a member of the opposition’s INDIA bloc, said such things backfire like the “Chowkidar chor hai” slogan did in the last election.

“I was never in favour of such slogans and nor they benefit us. In fact, there is an opposite effect when we use such slogans, it causes loss to us. A voter is not satisfied with these slogans, he wants to know how the issues he faces today would be addressed.

“He wants to know about employment generation, tackling agricultural distress, reactivate rural economy. He wants to hear about those things rather than whether someone has a family or not,” Abdullah told reporters. The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister said the opposition only secures a self-goal with such slogans.

“Now, we have given him (Modi) an open goal post and he has used the opportunity to his advantage by saying that Modi belongs to those who do not have anyone. We do not have any answer to that now.

“I will only say that we should not indulge in such personal politics but raise the issues of the public. Chowkidar, Adani-Ambani, Rafale, Parivar — these do not work,” he added.

To a question about the NC not leaving any seat in the valley for the PDP for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls and its impact on the INDIA bloc, Abdullah said the situation has kept the PDP out, not his party.

“The PDP came at the third number in the last Parliament elections and how is it justified that the number one or number two party will leave the claim on the seat and give it to the third number? Also, I do not see any influence of the BJP on the seat (south Kashmir-Rajouri),” he said.

As far as coalition is concerned, Abdullah said, it is the responsibility of every party to keep the coalition running.

“You ask us about the seats for them, but when they target the NC through their tweets or on social media, then you don’t ask them if that is the coalition dharma… The NC is attacked even when elections take place in Pakistan. They said on Twitter that what happened in Pakistan elections, reminded the people of what happened here in 1987 elections. What coalition dharma is this?

“I do not know under what influence did Ghulam Nabi Azad target Farooq Abdullah, but the PDP forced itself into that as well and attacked the NC. They along with Azad attacked Farooq Abdullah and the NC from their Twitter platform and you ask us where is the coalition dharma,” he said.

He, however, said that despite the PDP’s attacks on his party, the NC has told the Congress that it is ready to keep doors open for an alliance for the assembly polls in the Union Territory.

“But, first we will see their (PDP’s) approach in the forthcoming Parliamentary polls,” he added.

The NC vice president said his party has discussed the seat sharing with the Congress and the national party would contest from two seats in the Jammu region.

“We have told them to field their candidates from Udhampur and Jammu seats. We have also told them that the NC will not field its candidate on the Ladakh seat, but our endeavour should be to field a consensus candidate there who can take back the seat from the BJP,” he said.

Abdullah said had he known before joining the INDIA bloc that he would have to “weaken” his party for the sake of some other member of the alliance, “then perhaps I would never have joined the alliance”.

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