Will win from Anantnag-Rajouri, says National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah

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Jammu: National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah has downplayed the differences between his party and the People’s Democratic Party over a seat-share arrangement in the Kashmir Valley and exuded confidence of winning from Anantnag-Rajouri in the Lok Sabha elections.

Abdullah’s comment came after People’s Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday said the National Conference left her party with no option but to contest on three Lok Sabha seats, including Anantnag-Rajouri, in Kashmir.

The People’s Democratic Party and the National Conference are both constituents of the opposition INDIA bloc.

“I am not the owner of the People’s Democratic Party. Please go and ask them,” Abdullah said when asked about Mehbooba’s remarks.

Replying to another question about the National Conference’s fate in Anantnag-Rajouri after Ghulam Nabi Azad, the Democratic Progressive Azad Party chief and former chief minister of the erstwhile state, threw his hat in the ring, Abdullah said, “Inshallah, we will win. I will give it to you in writing.”

Abdullah on Wednesday chaired a meeting of National Conference workers the in Ramban district.

He also campaigned for the Congress candidate in the Udhampur-Kathua seat, saying, “We are standing strong in favour of the INDIA block to save the Constitution of India”.

Calling the Lok Sabha elections a ”collective fight” to protect India’s Constitution and unity, he said, “They (BJP) want to scrap the Constitution of India on one side. On the other side are people who have put their lives at stake to save the Constitution. It is our collective fight to save India.”

Abdullah warned against the dangers of division, saying, “If, today, we do not unite, we cannot save this nation.”

He also criticised attempts to divide Muslims for votes, referencing the historical promise of reservation for Paharis.

“We have to show the country our collective power. They (BJP) are trying to promote one religion. How can they decide what you eat, how you dress? We will not be cowed,” Abdullah said.

Reiterating his support for the Congress candidate in Udhampur-Kathua as the united choice against divisive forces, Abdullah urged people to vote for him to protect the country’s values and identity.

“I have come here to request you to take a decision and fight against such forces unitedly. The Congress candidate is our united candidate. We have to vote for him to defeat those forces,” he said.

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