BJP wants to replicate Russia-, China-like rule, says Farooq

TNN Bureau. Updated: 4/3/2024 12:08:18 AM Front Page

Jammu: The BJP wants to replicate Russia- and China-like rule in the country, National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah claimed on Tuesday and said the INDIA bloc has come forward to safeguard the Constitution, even at the cost of "our lives".
He also targeted the Centre over the issue of the Katchatheevu island, handed over to Sri Lanka in the 1970s, and asked why the BJP-led Centre is silent on the "continuous incursion" by China in Ladakh and its claims over land in Arunachal Pradesh.
"The INDIA bloc has been formed to safeguard the Constitution because there is apprehension that the Constitution will be finished (by the BJP) … The same thing will happen here (in India) as (Russian President Vladimir) Putin and China President (Xi Jinping) are sitting there. They (the BJP) are making attempts as they want to rule the country for life (without any opposition)," Abdullah told reporters.
"INDIA will not allow this to happen and protect the Constitution given by (BR) Amdedkar, even at the cost of our lives. We will not allow this Constitution to get buried," he said.
Asked to comment on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's criticism of the Congress over its decision to hand over the strategic Katchatheevu island to Sri Lanka in the 1970s, Abdullah pointed to China's alleged incursions into Ladakh and its claims over land in Arunachal Pradesh.
"How much land is with China, why are they (central government) not talking about it? China has grabbed thousands of kilometres of our land and we raised the issue in the Parliament but they did not answer. Let them reply on this first," the Srinagar MP said.
There have been "18 or 19 rounds of talks" between India and China but "what is the outcome of these talks as they (China) are continuously moving forward and even started renaming various places, which they are claiming to be their part. Why are they (BJP) not raising their voice against this?", Abdullah said.
The National Conference president, a former chief minister of the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir state, said it is better to leave Sri Lanka and "talk of our own land. Talk about the land of Ladakh".
Asked about the People's Democratic Party being "disappointed" over the National Conference announcing its candidate from the Anantnag-Rajouri seat, Abdullah responded angrily and said, "Who told you that they are disappointed? Have you heard her (Mehbooba Mufti) in Delhi? Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah (National Conference vice-president) and Mehbooba are standing united."
When told that the People's Democratic Party might put up a candidate against the National Conference's Mian Altaf, whose candidature was declared the previous day, Abdullah said it is a free country and anyone can contest elections.
"Farooq (Abdullah) has no fear of it, the INDIA bloc has no fear. We are strong and nobody can break this alliance," he said.

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