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HindustanTimes Thu,18 Sep 2014

National Conference will never be part of NDA: Omar

PTI  Srinagar, July 07, 2013
First Published: 13:05 IST(7/7/2013) | Last Updated: 13:21 IST(7/7/2013)

The ruling National Conference(NC) will never be part of NDA, the party working President and Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah categorically made it clear here today.

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Omar does not see a situation in which NC, which has 3 Lok Sabha MPs and 2 Rajya Sabha MPs, would enter into "any sort of alliance" with the BJP in the future.

The chief minister told PTI his party has only two options--the UPA and "in the past we have been a part of a United Front dispensation which is a sort of coming together of regional parties". NDA was not an option, he added.

"The answer is never," said Omar, who was a Minister of State in the Vajpayee government, when asked whether NC will be part of NDA in the future.

Asked about NC's previous alliance with the BJP in the NDA, Omar said, "NC's relationship was not a relationship between the BJP and NC. It was largely between National Conference and Atal Bihari Vajpayee because he was seen as a unifying force who brought people together, who put aside regional issues in national interest, who actually looked at problems of the state and sought to resolve them."

He mentioned that the railway line connecting Kashmir to rest of the country was a vision of Indira Gandhi which was fulfilled by Vajpayee when he declared the railway project as a national project of utmost importance.

"I don't see a situation particularly in the current leadership in the BJP and looking at the future leadership of the BJP that the NC will enter into any sort of alliance with them," he said.

Asked whether NC would be a part of third front, he said "No, we are very much part of the UPA and we are not sort of uncertain partners of the UPA. We are not like the Samajwadi or the BSP that are part of the UPA but not part of the UPA that come for one anniversary dinner and don't come for the second anniversary dinner.

Replying to a question on coalition politics, Omar took a dig at Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi and said "imagine, chief minister of Gujarat finds himself heading a coalition in Delhi, you think he will manage easily.

"I think he will struggle and struggle enormously because the way he is used to his law being command or his word being law in Gujarat will not happen if he happens to reach the pinnacle of power in Delhi. Though I don't expect him to reach there and I am only painting a hypothetical picture for you," Omar said with a smile on his face.

Hitting out at BJP leader L K Advani's statement on abrogation of Article 370 that grants special status to the state of J and K, Omar said the period before any Lok Sabha elections is the only time they rake it up.

"Article 370 is a convenient horse to be flogged just before elections and then to be conveniently forgotten when coalitions have to be sewn together. The fact of the matter is that the BJP made no effort to revoke Article 370 in the period when they were in power between 1998-2004."

Omar said with elections round the corner, BJP would be raising "three pet issues" -- common civil code, Article 370 and lastly the Ram Mandir issue.

"These issues I can guarantee you, post the 2014 Parliament elections when the BJP tries to sew up allies they will conveniently forget these issues gain at the altar of power," he said.

Asked about the prospects of the UPA, he said "at this point I think things are favourable for the UPA in spite of all our difficulties.

"I still believe the ground is favourable for the UPA. Let's agree on one thing this is not a battle of political parties as such but the battle of alliances. The UPA has already won the battle of alliances because the NDA does not have any ally as such.

NDA is reduced to a three-party group. Nobody else at this point is willing to touch them with a barge pole. Psychological battle has been now won by the UPA and all we have to do is to win the electoral battle," Omar added.


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