Omar Abdullah meets CM, calls for unity' against BJP

Blames BJP for deteriorating situation in J&K.

Kolkata: Calling for “unity” among the different anti-BJP political parties to build a solid Federal Front to stop the BJP from coming to power again at the Centre, National Conference (NC) leader Omar Abdullah on Friday hinted at supporting Trinamul Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee as the prime ministerial candidate for the Lok Sabha Elections next year.

He also blamed the BJP for its “numerous failures” the deterioration of situation in J&K since 2014. Mr Abdullah’s indication came close on the heels of the Congress’ message to extend support either to Ms Banerjee or BSP leader Mayawati as the PM candidate. In the evening, the former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir met West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee at the state secretariat Nabanna for over half-an-hour.

After the meeting Mr Abdullah said, “Of course no discussion between the two of us would be complete without discussing the prevailing situation in the country; the fear that prevails among the minority communities in the country and also the need that is felt for us to put together a united Front, a united face and take on the BJP in the forthcoming general elections which is due next year. So all these issues were discussed.”

He elaborated, “Fortunately, if you talk about a true Federal Front, we are made of parties which actually have no differences. There are parties which have leadership roles in the particular states. Lets take the example of my party: NC and her party. We have no differences to set aside. All we have to do is to agree where it is possible for us to cooperate with each other.”

Giving a preview of the strategy Mr Abdullah continued, “Mamata didi has kindly instructed her party MP Derek O’Brien to raise issues relating to our state in the Rajya Sabha where our party does not have any representation. These are the small things we can do which can actually make Federal Front a reality. Obviously, going ahead other parties will have to be included.”

According to him, “We will try as far as possible to put aside whatever differences do exist and to put the best foot forward in terms of taking the fight on with the BJP. We have not given any name to it although it is said to be Federal Front. But no name has been discussed. Those parties which are against the BJP will be included in this endeavour. There will be no barrier.”

Asked about Ms Banerjee as the PM candidate Mr Abdullah underlined, “It will be wrong to think who will be included or excluded. Our effort will be to unify all the anti-BJP parties. The election dates are yet to be announced. We are yet to file nominations. We have not fought the elections yet. Our stress should be to give a fight to the BJP. After that we will sit to discuss all these issues.”

Throwing a light on the plan Mr Abdullah, however, mentioned, “Mamata didi’s effort is now to look after the well-being of Bengal. After that we will take her forward to that level so that whatever development works she undertook here can be done across the country also.”

Describing him as a ‘young leader’ Ms Banerjee later said, “We love Kashmir which is our heart. Without Kashmir India cannot think of anything.”

She added, “We are grateful to Omar. We have high regards for his father Farooque Abullah. We are for all. Please don’t pick and choose a particular name to divide us. All regional parties are working together. This central government is threatening every state. Dictatorship is their strategy. Let us sacrifice everything for the country and people. In 2019 the government will be of the people, for the people and by the people.”

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