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Setback in 3 states due to Congress’ Failure, not INDIA Alliance: Omar Abdullah

The NC leader said the electoral defeat was because the constituent parties of the INDIA contested independently.
Omar Abdullah

Omar Abdullah. Image Courtesy: PTI

Srinagar: Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah on Tuesday said that the success of the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) in the recent elections in three Indian states is not the failure of the INDIA alliance but failings of the Congress party itself.  

On Sunday, the BJP wrested Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh from the Congress while beating anti-incumbency in Madhya Pradesh.

The NC leader said the defeat in the elections happened because the state Assembly elections were contested independently by the constituent parties of the INDIA instead of fighting as a united front. He added that the setback should be seen as a setback for the Congress party, not the broader alliance.

“The setback faced by the INDIA alliance due to this defeat and certain statements were made against others within the alliance, so there should be efforts made to resolve these issues and strengthen the alliance from here onwards,” Abdullah said. 

Regional parties of J&K, including the National Conference and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), are part of the INDIA, which stands for the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance. A group of 28 political parties led by the Congress party, it was formed to create a united front against the ruling National Democratic Alliance led by the BJP in the 2024 general elections. 

Abdullah was speaking to the media during a party function to commemorate the 118th anniversary of the death of his grandfather and NC founder, Sheikh Abdullah, at Hazrat Bal in Srinagar. The leader also lashed out at the ruling BJP for failing to hold elections in the union territory, alleging that the BJP knows it will face defeat. 

“BJP is not in a mood to hold elections, not even Panchayat or municipality elections in Jammu and Kashmir. They know that they don’t have the numbers here to help them form a government, which is why they are trying hard to implement changes like introducing reservation bills in the parliament,” he added. 

The central government is moving the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2023, and the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2023 in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday, and if passed, these will give Scheduled Tribe (ST) status to Paharis, Gadda Brahmins and Koli in the UT. 

However, tribal rights activists have opposed the bill, accusing the BJP of using it to further its own political agenda in the region.

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