Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah on Saturday said there was no question of stopping Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi from holding a rally in Srinagar if he desires so.
“Where is the question of not allowing (Modi in Srinagar)?” he asked, responding to questions on whether the BJP leader will be allowed in Srinagar.
“Please come! If you (BJP) have a party unit here and want to address 500 people, you can come. No one is stopping them (BJP) from holding political activity,” he said.
“We do not (even) stop separatists from political activities. There is no question of stopping Modi,” he said.
The CM clarified that BJP leaders were stopped from entering the state earlier this year because there was apprehension that the situation would further deteriorate in the aftermath of Kishtwar riots.
He added that he did not expect Modi or other leaders to say anything new at Sunday's rally.
“We know the politics of BJP. We are not unaware of their attitude towards this state and the attempts to spread communal frenzy in Jammu after the Kishtwar riots. While it is expected that some bitter words will be spoken, I do not think there will be anything that we have not heard already, either from Narendra Modi himself or his party colleagues,” he added.
Omar said people of the state had fought these things and would continue to combat them in the future as well.
Responding to a query on his hoarding being put up near the BJP rally venue, he claimed that there was “nothing to cry about”, as these were “installed deliberately”.
“Hoardings are installed deliberately. Such things cannot be done by mistake. This is my state, and I am a resident of this state. If I want to install a hoarding, I will. It will be my only hoarding in the state. Why this irritation?” he asked.
“There are 100 hoardings of Modi in my state, but I am not irritated. I would have understood (this irritation) if I had installed a hoarding outside the secretariat of Gujarat,” he added.
'Will continue to support Indo-Pak dialogue'
The CM said he would continue to support dialogue between India and Pakistan for resolution of
outstanding issues between the two countries.
“We have always been supporting dialogue and will always do that,” Omar told mediapersons.
Responding to a question, Omar said the decision about holding dialogue with Pakistan was taken at the highest level in the country.
“The decision whether to hold talks or not is not ours (at state level). This decision is taken at the Centre at the highest level. Our Prime Minister will decide whether there should be talks or not and on what issues should there be dialogue,” he said.
Asked to comment on a reported statement of director general of police Ashok Prasad in which the top cop had said there was no point in talking to Pakistan as the neighbouring country continued to support militancy in the state, he claimed, “I have not come across any such statement of the DGP.”
Vilification of woman journalist unfortunate: Omar on Tehelka
Chief minister Omar Abdullah said vilification of the woman journalist, who was allegedly sexually assaulted by Tehelka editor Tarun Tejpal, was “extremely unfortunate”. “I think the way they are now trying to vilify the woman is even more unfortunate. I think it would have been better if this sort of mud-raking would not have taken place,” he said. Omar was also critical of the handling of the issue by the news magazine. “That is an unfortunate incident....The way the Tehelka handled it is extremely unfortunate,” he said. The CM, however, said the law should take its course after Tejpal presented himself before police in Goa. “He (Tejpal) has now presented himself to police in Goa. The law must follow its course and if he is guilty, he will be punished,” Omar added. PTI