Give us plebiscite and remove Article 370: Farooq Abdullah

Dr Farooq Abdullah

Says Modi spreading lies about Balakot, can go to any extent to win election

Srinagar: National Conference president Farooq Abdullah on Saturday said that Article 370 and Article 35 can be abrogated only if people of Jammu and Kashmir are allowed a plebiscite.

“Many people say Article 370 was temporary. 

It was temporary because the people had to take a decision about this state through plebiscite. Once the decision had happened, the people’s decision, then this law would have been removed,” Farooq said.

“But in 1953 a conspiracy was made to remove Sher-e-Kashmir and then a government was installed and they hollowed out the law (Article 370),” he said.

Kickstarting his election campaign in Srinagar, from where he is seeking re-election, Member of Parliament Farooq Abdullah said that the BJP can go to any extent to win the upcoming parliamentary election.

“We have to protect our special position from the RSS and BJP,” said Abdullah while addressing a party workers’ convention at NC headquarters Nawah-e-Subah. “Maharaja Hari Singh signed an instrument of accession on the condition that New Delhi controls defence, foreign affairs and communication. Article 370 can be abrogated only if people of Kashmir are allowed to hold plebiscite,” he said.

The three-time J&K chief minister accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of covering up his failures by spreading lies to divert attention from real issues faced by people.

He said that Modi has been spreading lies about the air strike carried out by Indian Air Force in Pakistan’s Balakot on February 26.

“People were told that 200 people were killed and then 500 people were killed in Pakistan,” said Abdullah. “All these lies are being spread with the sole purpose of winning the election.”

He pointed to the helicopter crash in Budgam in which six IAF men on board and a civilian on the ground were killed, saying that it happened because of New Delhi pressing a “wrong button”.

The crash, according to a report in Economic Times, occurred after an Indian missile hit the MI17 V5 helicopter on February 27.

“They were only raking up the issue of construction of Ram temple before. Now where has that gone? It has been eaten by Balakot. Now that Balakot happened, they forgot the temple,” he said.

Abdullah also hit out at the NC’s arch-rival PDP for forming alliance with the BJP after the 2014 assembly polls, even though it sought votes during the election campaign to keep BJP away from Kashmir.

He said this election is about saving India from the scourge of communal forces.

“Whether India will remain a secular India or not, it is not a question about Farooq Abdullah but the question of saving the country. So, remember this (election) is a bigger battle,” he said.