In a softening of stand towards Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah has described him as an 'untested force', apparently giving him the benefit of doubt as against the openly offensive approach of political ally Congress.
"You know nothing about Modi, except for what he says about Gujarat. So, it's an untested force. Let us see," Omar said when he was asked about a possible alliance of his National Conference (NC) with the BJP, in an interview with the Kashmir News Service, a Srinagar-based local news agency in Jammu.
His statement is being seen among political observers as an indication that he is not closing doors to a post-poll alliance between his party and the BJP, with the operative part of his statement being "Let's see". In an indication of his soft approach towards the saffron party as well, Abdullah said the National Conference (NC) would have considered an alliance with the BJP, had it nominated (former prime minister) Atal Bihari Vajpayee or (former deputy prime minister) LK Advani as its prime ministerial candidate this time around. "Had BJP nominated Vajpayee or Advani as its prime ministerial candidate, it was still worth to pay heed," said Omar.
The CM's statement on Modi does not come as a sudden turnaround as in the past couple of months, he has more than once recognised Modi's political prowess, saying "Though there is no Modi 'wave', he has galvanised the party cadre."