Omar calls for Oppn unity

KOLKATA, July 28: National Conference leader Omar Abdullah today lauded the efforts by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi to bring the opposition parties together and said they will only be successful if the Congress takes the fight to the BJP.
He said the opposition parties are also discussing TMC chief Mamata Banerjee’s proposal for a “federal front” under which the regional parties will unite to take on the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
“We have seen a number of efforts (being) made by Sonia Gandhi to bring the opposition parties together and recently we saw the opposition coming together during the swearing-in of the Karnataka Chief Minister,” he said.
“Obviously no effort for towards opposition unity will really succeed unless the Congress is able to take the fight to the BJP in the way we hope,” Abdullah said on the sidelines of a programme here.
The former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister is in the city to take part in a forum discussion, titled ‘Think Federal Front’, and met Banerjee yesterday.
Speaking about the present situation in Kashmir, Abdullah reiterated that it is not conducive for polls.
“We (National Conference) have demanded that the Assembly be dissolved…It is no use talking about elections in the present situation. We can only talk of elections once the State goes back to the situation it was in during 2014, when the (last Assembly) election was held,” he said.
Abdullah also criticised the erstwhile PDP-BJP Government over its failure to stop the youth from joining militancy.
He said the number of terrorists killed in the last three years is much higher, as the BJP claims, because a larger number of youths is now joining militancy, which is actually a failure on the part of the Government.
Omar expressed satisfaction over his meeting with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on the issue of a probable federal front.
The National Conference vice-president, who called on Banerjee at the State Secretariat here yesterday, said he was looking forward to working closely with her and other like-minded leaders in the next Lok Sabha elections.
“It was a pleasure meeting @MamataOfficial in #Kolkata yesterday evening. I look forward to working closely with her & other like minded leaders as we gear up for the fight in 2019,” he wrote on Twitter. Banerjee replied back to Abdullah saying, “Thank you Omar. It is always a pleasure meeting you. Yes, we will work closely together.”
The Trinamool Congress supremo, after the meeting with Abdullah, had said no name should be picked as the prime ministerial candidate of the probable federal front in the next Lok Sabha polls, as it would divide the unity of the regional parties fighting the BJP.
The federal front proposes to unite regional parties to take on the BJP in the next parliamentary elections.
Echoing Banerjee, Abdullah had said it was too early to choose the Opposition’s prime ministerial name. “Our main focus should be to come together and put up a good fight against the BJP and then, we can decide on that.” (PTI)