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India’s secular character at stake: Farooq Abdullah

Srinagar, Dec 05: National Conference President, Farooq Abdullah, on Wednesday said the “secular character” of India is at stake due to polarization in the name of religion.

“India is going through a major change. We are worried the way tragedies are created. It is not Ram and Allah that will give votes to politicians. It is people to decide whom to give the vote. People have to rise and decide their future,” Farooq said in his address on the 36th annual day of the SK Institute of Medical Sciences held at SKICC here.

The former JK chief minister asked the Election Commission of India to ensure that religion was not used in elections.

“It is very unfortunate what I am seeing on the land today which was supposed to be secular. I hope secular character of this nation is maintained otherwise greater dangers will arrive,” he said.

He took on the BJP government at the centre saying it forgot to fulfill the promises it has made before the elections. “Seeking votes in the name of religion is not fighting for people. There are so many issues like lack of development, unemployment, on which elections must be fought,” he said, who is also Member Parliament of central Kashmir.

The National Conference leader also called for early assembly elections in the state.“Democracy is essential and Governor rule is for a short term. I am sure peaceful elections are held and peaceful people who will serve the nation get elected. I hope elected people will address on this day the next year.

The assembly and parliamentary polls shall be held together in the state,” he said.

He said there was a change in the statements of India and Pakistan leaders. “Imran Khan said that had Vajpayee been elected in 2004 then solution to Kashmir problem might have emerged. There has to be a solution so that we walk freely,” he said.

He also said that killing of a police officer was a greater tragedy. “Everything is planned. Nation must remember that these forces who are trying to do this they should be controlled and abolished from this nation,” he added.

‘Designs to take over JK Bank was in pipeline’

Srinagar, Dec 05: Former chief minister and National Conference (NC) president, Dr Farooq Abdullah on Wednesday said that the design to take over the J&K Bank was in the pipeline since his tenure as Chief Minister in the State.
Talking to reporters on the sidelines of the function here at SKICC, Dr Farooq who is also Member of Parliament said that the designs to take over the JK Bank was in the pipeline since his tenure as the chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir but there was they thought that they could succeed in Governor’s rule.
“I remember when I was the Chief Minister and the Bank was working well, I was in the office of Home Minister L K Advani along with Deputy Chairman planning commission K C Panth and they were saying that the bank is going down and it should be taken over,” Dr Farooq said, adding that “Luckily, Business Standard, a daily from newspaper from Mumbai had published a complete report on JK bank and showed how good it was.
“I sent those reports to them and I am glad that Panth spoke to me on the phone and said his information was wrong,” Dr Farooq added.
He added that once Governor’s rule is over, the popular government will have to look into this to the autonomy of the JK Bank.