Congress has become weak: Farooq Abdullah

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JAMMU: Congress leaders need to stand up to the challenges being faced by the country and look into the problems of the people instead of “staying at their homes”, National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah said on Tuesday.

Speaking at a Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party (JKNPP) function here, he also said that the Congress has become “weak”.

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“My party (the National Conference) and his (Bhim Singh) party (JKNPP) are not there (in the rest of India). Congress is everywhere and they have to stand up to the challenge, look into the problems of the people, instead of staying at their homes, and counter the threat to our nation,” Abdullah said.

Pointing towards Bhim Singh and his nephew and JKNPP chairman Harsh Dev Singh, the NC leader said that he “is sure that these lions will stand up to the challenge posed by the divisive forces” but added that the “Congress which is a national level party has become weak”.

In an apparent reference to the abrogation of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status in 2019, he said, “It is an attack on our honour we will lost our land and our children will be left without jobs as people from outside will come and take the jobs”.

“Maharaja Hari Singh introduced state subject laws to safeguard Dogra culture. If people came from outside, he was aware that his subjects are poor and cannot safeguard their land,” Abdullah said.

He added that when people will come from outside, will they (the local youth of Jammu and Kashmir) get jobs in neighbouring Himachal Pradesh, Punjab or Haryana.

The former chief minister also cautioned people against attempts in the near future to garner support on the pretext that “Lord Ram is in danger”.

The function was organised by the JKNPP to observe its 40th foundation day. JKNPP founder Bhim Singh was unanimously elected its president for the next three years.

Praising Bhim Singh for his secular credentials, Abdullah said, “We have to strengthen our parties and stand united for our people and the country. We have to fight those powers who want to divide and break us.”

You divided regions but our hearts are connected: Abdullah on Article 370

Referring to the bifurcation of J&K into two union territories — Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh — after abrogation of special status, he said, “You divided the regions but our hearts which are connected beat for each other. Why not I am a Muslim and he a Hindu his voice is same as is mine and his god is also the same as mine.”

Cautioning the people about future challenges and attacking the BJP, Abdullah said they are masters in spreading propaganda.

“They propagated that they (Rohingya Muslims) will take over your land and will force you out. We clarified that nobody will come and live here without the permission of Delhi. They misled you. Tomorrow, they will come to sell Ram and they will say he (Ram) is in danger. They will not tell you that they are in danger and their chair is in danger,” he said.

Abdullah said neither Ram nor Allah require votes.

“We need votes I am forewarning you to remain cautious, especially my sisters who go to the temples and mostly fear god,” he said

“We have to stand united to fight this tornado. We have to safeguard J&K, our unity and our honour. We have to sacrifice ourselves for this country and the people without thinking who is a Muslim, a Hindu or a Dogra. We are all one,” Abdullah said.

Referring to former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, he said who was aware that he will come and hoist the tricolor at the Red Fort. This was possible due to sacrifices, the NC leader said.

“Nehru who laid the foundation of this country for 17 years, though he sent my father to jail, had done a lot for this country and I cannot forget it. His daughter Indira (Gandhi) made the country rich in food grains following which we started exporting it to the world which was not the case earlier when we used to beg food from America,” he said.