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Jammu Kashmir » Politics

Posted at: Mar 21, 2017, 1:01 AM; last updated: Mar 21, 2017, 1:01 AM (IST)

Bypoll: Farooq raises religious rhetoric after filing nomination

Bypoll: Farooq raises religious 
rhetoric after filing nomination
Farooq Abdullah, NC President

Azhar Qadri

Tribune News Service

Srinagar, March 20

National Conference president Farooq Abdullah filed his nomination papers on Monday for the upcoming parliamentary byelection to the Srinagar constituency as he continued to hit out at the BJP and warned it of a “storm” if the country’s multi-religious character was threatened.

Farooq filed his papers at the District Election Office here. He has been fielded jointly by the National Conference and the Congress as the two parties agreed to a pre-poll alliance.

The 79-year-old Farooq was accompanied by his son and former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, Congress state president Ghulam Ahmad Mir, who is the alliance’s candidate for south Kashmir’s Anantnag constituency, and Tariq Hameed Karra, whose resignation from the Lok Sabha and the PDP last year necessitated the bypoll. Karra joined the Congress last month.

Farooq had lost the 2014 parliamentary election to Karra from the Srinagar constituency. Farooq has twice represented Srinagar in the Lok Sabha, first in 1980 and then in 2009.

Immediately after filing the papers, Farooq along with other leaders headed to the party’s headquarters at the Nawa-e-Subh complex, where he addressed a large gathering of workers and leaders of the two parties.

The NC president urged the workers of the two parties to work together “to defeat the enemy”. “This will be a tough election, they (coalition) will use every excuse,” Farooq said.

The former parliamentarian warned that any change to the country’s multi-religious character would ignite a “storm”. “We have to protect not only this state but also the entire country from the fire that is raging. This country belongs to everyone, not to one religion, but to every religion,” he said. “We are connected till this country remains everyone’s and if it does not remain so then God knows what storm will come,” the NC leader said.

Farooq said it was now up to the young leaders “to save not only Jammu and Kashmir, but also India and Pakistan”. “Our Kashmir will not survive till India and Pakistan become friends. All leaders will have to work for it. It shall happen when this alliance will also take place inside our hearts,” he said.

‘Country belongs to all’

We have to protect not only this state but also the entire country from the fire that is raging. This country belongs to everyone, not to one religion, but to every religion. We are connected till this country remains everyone’s and if it does not remain so then God knows what storm will come. —Farooq Abdullah, NC President

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