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‘With my father, I have learnt to say never, ever’
4/13/2024 10:34:11 PM
Early Times Report

Srinagar, Apr 13: National Conference leader Omar Abdullah on Saturday said his father Farooq Abdullah’s not contesting the Lok Sabha polls does not signal an end to his electoral career.
“With my father, I have learnt over time that you never say never, ever. So until the very last breath, and may God give him many more of them, do not ever write him off for anything,” Omar said. The National Conference vice president was responding to a question whether the senior Abdullah might stage a comeback when assembly elections are held in Jammu and Kashmir.
In response to a question about his sons – Zahir and Zameer — being groomed for active politics, the former J-K chief minister said they have done nothing that warrants such a conjecture.
“As far as my sons are concerned, what have they done? Have they made speeches, have they got mandates, have they done any active politics? As sons or grandsons, they help out wherever they are needed. We hosted a party (Iftar party), if they help as part of the family, being hosts, is there a problem with that?” he said.
“They are trained lawyers, if once in a while the party takes legal advice from them, where is the harm? But, have you seen them actively campaigning, seeking a mandate? I have not seen it,” Omar added.
On the BJP accusing their rivals of promoting dynastic politics, Omar said the ruling party at the Centre does not have problem with political families as one-fifth of its candidates for Lok Sabha polls come from such families.
“Look, I cannot help propaganda. But I continue to maintain that the BJP has no problem with families in politics. The BJP’s problem is with those families that oppose the BJP.
“Otherwise, you tell me doesn’t the BJP have families in politics? I was reading a newspaper article the other day that suggested that one-fifth of the mandates that the BJP has distributed in this Parliament election all belong to BJP political families,” he said.
“How is it that Pawar sahab’s family is a dynastic party, but Ajit Pawar is not dynastic? When Ajit Pawar’s wife fights against Supriya Sule, that is not dynastic politics? The BJP has no problem with that,” the politician said, and drew similar examples from the Thackeray family and the family of N. Candrababu Naidu.
“When the Home Minister of India and others meet Uddhav Thackery’s cousin, Raj Thackery, that is not dynastic? Other than having the Thackerey surname, what else is there? When the BJP ties up with Chandrababu Naidu in Andhra Pradesh. Naidu is NTR’s son-in-law, that is how he got entry into politics, is that not dynastic? “How many second and third generation leaders are there in BJP today … all these youngsters who are now coming up, whether it is Sushma Swaraj’s daughter, or the minister from Hamirpur in Himachal (Anurag Thakur). How many names do you want me to list out for you, there is no end to it,” the NC leader said.
Meanwhile, National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah Saturday said Gujjar leader Mian Altaf was still the party’s candidate from Anantnag Rajouri Parliamentary constituency amid reports that he was not keeping well.
“We have not heard about it. If he had taken such a decision, then he would have informed us. Now that you have raised it, we will find out about it,” Abdullah told reporters here.
He said Altaf is the party’s first choice for the seat “and unless we won’t hear from his mouth, he will be our party’s face.” “We will see what has to be done. Media reports are not always true, sometimes they are wrong. As I said, unless I won’t hear it from Altaf that he won’t be able to contest citing health issues, I won’t be able to comment on it,” he said.
The party vice president said if Altaf does not contest then the party will hold consultations over it.
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