Stating that some political parties claiming to be ‘thoroughly secular’ have been exposed in the present Lok Sabha elections particularly in Jammu and Kashmir, senior Congress leader and union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad on Sunday said PDP fielded its candidates in Jammu and Udhampur just to help ‘communal forces like BJP’.
Talking to KNS, Azad also claimed that there is a perfect chemistry between Congress and the National Conference owing to which the UPA will bag all the six Lok Sabha seats in Jammu and Kashmir. The senior Congress leader and the Lok Sabha candidate from Udhampur parliamentary constituency took strong exception of media reports claiming that Azad had rejected Dr Farooq Abdullah and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s invitation to campaign for NC candidates in Srinagar and Baramulla. “I think some political party is hell bent to create a wedge between Congress and NC by sponsoring such baseless reports. I am presently busy with party campaigning in Andhra Pradesh and interiors of South India and having been incharge of the state, I am not being allowed to leave the campaigning for a moment,” Azad said, adding that he was not asked by Dr Farooq Abdullah or Chief Minister Omar Abdullah to campaign in Central and North Kashmir Lok Sabha constituencies. “I think Dr Farooq Sahib is a popular political leader who does not need my presence there to garner votes.”
“If I would have some time and they (Dr Farooq and Omar) would have not even asked me for campaigning I would have still come to campaign in Central and North Kashmir like I did in Islamabad parliamentary constituency,” Azad said. He said because of his extremely busy campaigning schedule in Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Utrakhand, Arunchal and other areas, he cannot spare any time for Srinagar and Baramulla Parliamentary constituencies for campaigning. “I need four days to and fro for these places and in the same time I will be visiting some 50 Lok Sabha seats and 100 assembly segments.”
Thanking National Conference leadership for campaigning for Congress candidates including him in Jammu region, Azad said: “The NC leadership, workers, MLAs, minister and party office bearers worked very hard for coalition candidates in Jammu and Udhampur Lok Sabah seats. The provincial president Devender Rana was always there to support. And similarly PCC president Prof Soz sahib, Congress MLA, ministers and workers worked tirelessly in Anantnag constituency and are working in other two seats of valley to support NC candidates,” he added.
He said that though he has no grudges against PDP for fielding candidates in Jammu and Udhampur but their strategy of fielding candidates has directly helped BJP. “Fielding candidates was PDP’s discretion. And I don’t have any complaints on that. But we have a direct fight with communal BJP at national level and with all those regional parties who directly or indirectly are supporting BJP. If they were so keen to contest from Jammu and Udhampur Lok Sabha seats, what PDP could have done was to field candidates from Jammu, Udhampur or Kathua to cut BJP votes in their respective areas. But instead they choose a candidate from Rajouri-Poonch where they had some influence for Jammu against Madan Lal Sharma and a Muslim candidate from Doda to cut Muslim votes and in support of BJP. Even Panthers Party which calls itself very secular fielded its candidates for these elections but campaigned for BJP candidates,” Azad claimed.
The union health minister said that win and defeat is a part and parcel of election process. “But throughout the country at present all political parties’ regional or for that matter at national level are divided in two sides. This is like a fight, the world had witnessed between Russia and USA. Similarly, the Indian politics and political parties are divided in two sides secular and communal. Those who support communal forces are supporting BJP. Nowadays I go through speeches of PDP leaders praising BJP leadership, acclaiming L K Advani and Atal Ji for their work. It is actually to pave way to say BJP is good and so is the Modi,” Azad said.
On separatists call for boycott in Kashmir, Azad said that poll boycott affects the people of the state and it does not help any political party. “If any political party or religious party for its’ interests bar voters to cast their votes they will be committing biggest injustice with people and the society in general,” Azad said while strongly condemning Tral killings and the attack on polling staff part which had led to death of teacher in Shopian. “Some people are trying to take the state to violence. If on one side India is in danger from BJP the same way it is in danger from the militants,” he added.
Referring to political mood at national level, Azad said that Modi’s mood depends on television. “He has in a way hired all televisions channels. Sofar he blame others for corruption but estimates say that he has spent Rs 30,000 crores on his publicity and to hire television channels. Wherefrom, he got that much of money if he has not been involved in corruption, unless he has not given state land worth Rs 20 to 30,000 crores to industrial houses in terms of tax rebates on land and electricity. That is the big corruption. How come these big companies are spending thousands of Crores on him when big industrial houses don’t give a penny to anyone unless they have some interest in it,” he asked. (KNS)