Mian Altaf Ahmed is not an outsider: Says Omar Abdullah

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Pahalgam:(CNI) National Conference leader Omar Abdullah on Tuesday scoffed at suggestions that the party’s candidate for the Anantnag-Rajouri Lok Sabha seat, Mian Altaf Ahmed, was “outside” the constituency. And said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi belongs to Gujarat. But contesting elections from Uttar Pradesh.


“How is Mian Sahib an outsider? He is as much from Rajouri Poonch as he is from here (Anantnag) or anywhere else in Kashmir. If PM Modi can come from Gujarat and contest in Uttar Pradesh, your channels has no problem with it,” Abdullah said.


“Leaders from South India go to Rajya Sabha from North Indian seats, you have no problem with that. Mian Sahib contests from inside Kashmir Valley and you start raising questions. Is he from Rajouri Poonch Anantnag seat?” Don’t you have the right to contest the election?” he asked.


The former chief minister was talking to reporters after a party rally in Lever-Pahalgam of this Lok Sabha constituency in South Kashmir.


Abdullah also criticized the media for trying to create a rift between his party and the PDP, a partner in the opposition India Bloc.


“Why are you forcing PDP to fight us? Has PDP said anywhere that they will contest elections? You are the ones who are fueling it. I heard Mehbooba Mufti’s speech in Delhi, He said that Farooq Sahib and we are together and we will not break the India alliance. Why are you trying to fight us?” he asked.


Asked whether the National Conference (NC) is contesting the three Kashmir seats due to pressure from the Enforcement Directorate (ED), Abdullah said the decision was taken on the basis of winning the previous elections.


“For the DDC elections, we took the results of the 2014 assembly elections and wherever the PDP won, they contested the DDC elections and wherever the NC won, we had a chance. C was also with us at that time and he chose his candidate where he lived. We used the same formula here as well. Where does ED come into it? he asked.


On the issue of election bonds, Abdullah said that he did not disclose any secret.


“I did not say anything that was hidden. All this information is in public domain after Supreme Court order. If media people do not question the government, it becomes our responsibility,” said Abdullah.


“We are asking a direct question. The companies that are building projects here, be it Ratle or Zojila tunnel, for what purpose did they pay the electoral bonds,” he added.


On the arrest of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Abdullah said that the world has taken notice.


“Not only us but the powerful countries of the world have taken notice of how opposition leaders are being singled out for targeting.” Kejriwal is the second Chief Minister to be arrested.


Abdullah said arresting sitting chief ministers was a “very dangerous situation for democracy” and the country “will have to pay for it for a long time”.


“We hope that the Supreme Court and the Election Commission will not ignore this and stop the use of investigative agencies during elections,” he added. (CNI)

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