|Early Times Report|
JAMMU, Sept 25: NC vice-president and former Jammu & Kashmir Minister Omar Abdullah is not really happy with his friend AICC president Rahul Gandhi. He is unhappy because Rahul Gandhi is taking recourse to soft Hindutva and visiting temples to woo voters across the nation.
He has said that visits to temples will not help Rahul Gandhi and his Congress restore the political space it has lost to the BJP and that if he really wishes to recapture the lost space, he has no other option but to seek people's mandate on people-centric planks. Rahul Gandhi and his Congress would lose 2019 in case he continued to indulge in Hindutva, soft or otherwise, Omar Abdullah said the other day.
"You (Rahul Gandhi) can't defeat a party by becoming its B-team or facsimile. If you are going to play the BJP's Hindutva card with soft Hindutva, you will lose. If you play BJP's strident nationalistic line on security with a slightly softer line, you will lose. Therefore, where you need to take on the BJP are on the issues that today are really pinching people. Nobody is going to vote for the Congress because its leader is going to temples. People will vote for the Congress if it raises issues that matter: Price rise, fuel price hike, joblessness, misery in industry and manufacturing, agriculture distress, the demonetisation disaster, and the goods and services tax (GST) mess. To defeat the BJP, the last thing we need to do is to become its B-team," Omar Abdullah, among other things, said, while giving advice to Rahul Gandhi.
It is strange that in Jammu & Kashmir, Omar Abdullah and his father Farooq Abdullah have always sought mandate on the autonomy plank or on a plank that drives Jammu & Kashmir away from the national mainstream. The Abdullah dynasty has at no point in time after 1951 sought people's mandate on the public-centric planks. It has always raked up emotive issues and frightened the majority community in the Valley to get its votes. In fact, it has all through indulged in politics of soft secessionism and communalism to woo the members of a particular community and left no stone unturned to offend the minority communities in the state. So much so, Farooq Abdullah would openly ask his party cadres to join the Huriyat ranks and support their Azadi movement.
That they the Abdullahs have nothing to do with the people and their aspirations, needs and compulsions could be seen from the manner they decided to boycott the Urban Local Bodies and Panchayat elections and also threatened to boycott the Parliamentary and Assembly elections. They took this extreme step only to woo their constituency in the Kashmir Valley and promote their own selfish interests.
It was just ridiculous that Omar Abdullah asked Rahul Gandhi to do across the country what he never did in Jammu & Kashmir. This is called double-standards.