I won’t even shake hands with BJP from distance: Omar

Fayaz Bukhari

page1-2Srinagar, Aug 11: Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, while ruling out any future alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), today said that he won’t even shake hands with them from a distance.
In response to the comments made by the BJP president, Amit Shah, Omar told reporters on the sidelines of a function at Kangan in Central Kashmir district of Ganderbal: “Recently, the BJP president made comments about Jammu and Kashmir, my party and even my family. I perhaps would not even shake hands with BJP from a distance.”
Chief Minister said the BJP leaders have not said anything that would make him rethink on a possible alliance with the party. “I don’t think the BJP has said anything like that which would make us tie up with them,” he added.
Omar said he had no problem with Narendra Modi visiting Jammu and Kashmir for second time in quick succession as he is the Prime Minister of the country. “I have no issues with him visiting Jammu and Kashmir. He is the Prime Minister, he can come whenever he wants,” he added.
Chief Minister refused to comment upon the Congress allegations that BJP is trying to create a wedge between communities in the country. “I have seen media reports. More than that, I cannot comment,” he added.
Omar, however, said in Jammu region attempts are being made ahead of Assembly elections to polarize the situation so that the BJP can benefit from it. “Polarisation attempts in Jammu are going on. Similar efforts were made ahead of the Lok Sabha polls and these attempts are going on. The intent is to create a vertical divide among Muslim and Non-Muslim voters so that they benefit from it,” he said.
Chief Minister said that his party has decided not to having pre-poll alliance with Congress in the forthcoming Assembly polls in the State as his party didn’t get the Congress votes in the valley during the Lok Sabha polls as much as it should have. “We did not get the Congress votes to the extent we should have got. So it is better that Congress look after its vote. If we had contested together in the hope of getting their vote but it would end up elsewhere, it is better Congress fight on its own,” he added.
Omar said that his big complaint with the UPA-II is that it completed several development projects in the State but Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh didn’t find time to inaugurate them. “It will be my very big complaint with UPA-II that all these projects were completed during its tenure but they handed it over as a gift to Modi for inauguration,” he said.
Chief Minister said it was sad that the projects which were started and completed during the UPA Government were not inaugurated by then PM. “He could not find time to inaugurate these projects. Katra rail link was completed more than a year ago, we have been using electricity of Uri II power project for more than a year now and Nimo-Bazgo and Chutak projects were completed one year ago. It has been more than six months we got permission for Srinagar-Leh transmission line,” he said.
Omar described the UPA-II as careless for not inaugurating the projects. “I will never be able to understand why they were so careless about the completed projects and did not inaugurate them,” he added.
Chief Minister said his regret is that the former PM took personal interest in these projects and ensured their funding and completion under PM’s Reconstruction Plan for the State but his name is not coming in these projects. “If he had inaugurated these projects, I would have been happier,” he added.
On Panchayats, Omar said that they are the best tools to curb corruption and ensure transparency. “We have reconstituted Accountability Commission and constituted Vigilance Commission to tackle corruption but the best tool in this regard are Panchayat Raj Institutions,” he said while addressing a public meeting after e-inauguration of 200 Panchayat ghars at Kijpora in Kangan area of Ganderbal district this morning.
Chief Minister announced Rs 70 crores financial grants to Panchayat institutions for undertaking various development works in their Halqas. He said many speculations and anti- Panchayat poll propaganda is let loose by the main Opposition to derail the process of establishing powerful Panchayat system in the State.
Omar said the PDP leadership piloted and passed a Bill in the Legislature aimed at dissolving the then Panchayats in the State prematurely. “But we met the Governor of that time Gen S K Sinha and made him to send the bill back without giving his assent as it was totally undemocratic and authoritarian,” he added.
Chief Minister said that the PDP is gathering all corruption charge-sheeted lot in its basket and at the same time it is crying hoarse on corruption. “Actions of every individual and party reveal its agenda and real face. On one hand, they are giving sermons on corruption and on the other hand bringing all elements with corruption charges into their fold,” he added.

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