Banihal: Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah on Friday joined the ongoing Bharat Jodo Yatra in Banihal and said that he joined the march as it aims to improve the situation and atmosphere of the country. Talking to reporters, the NC leader said that the Bharat Jodo Yatra is not being carried out to improve the image of an individual. “The Bharat Jodo Yatra is not aimed at improving the image of Rahul Gandhi but for improving the situation in the country,” the National Conference (NC) leader told reporters upon his arrival in this highway town, 120 kilometers from Srinagar.

Driving his point home, Omr Abdullah said that he decided to become part of the Yatra as he is more concerned about the image of the country. “We have not joined this for the image of an individual but for the image of the county,” he said. When asked about the Congress party’s stand on the revocation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, he said that he does not want to delve into that.

Omar went on to say that Rahul Gandhi is not carrying out the yatra for “personal reasons” but only due to his concern over the attempts to create communal tensions and target minorities in the country.

“This government might be making friends with Arab countries, but the fact remains that there is no representative in this government from the largest minority of the country,” he said.

“It might be for the first time since Independence that the ruling party does not have a single member of Parliament — either in Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha — from the Muslim community. It shows their attitude, ” he added.

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Replying to a question on the abrogation of Article 370, Abdullah said that the political leaders of J&K will fight the case for the restoration of Article 370 in court. Omar Abdullah also raised his concerns about elections in Jammu and Kashmir, saying, “it has been eight years.”

“The last assembly elections were held in 2014. This has been the longest period between the two elections in Jammu and Kashmir. It was not the case even at the peak of militancy,” he said. Omar said the government wants the people of Jammu and Kashmir to beg for elections. “We are not beggars and we won’t beg for it,” he added.

The Bharat Jodo Yatra-led by Rahul Gandhi resumed from the highway town of Banihal in Jammu and Kashmir earlier this morning after a day’s break. The Yatra will enter Kashmir Valley later today for its last leg before culminating in a rally in Srinagar on January 30. The yatra has passed through various districts of Jammu and covered almost 90 kilometers.

The march started from Kanyakumari on September 7 and entered Jammu and Kashmir via Punjab on January 19. The marathon march will culminate with Gandhi unfurling the national flag at the party headquarters in Srinagar and addressing a grand rally at the Sher-e-Kashmir Cricket Stadium on January 30.

(With Agency Inputs)

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I4K Staff

India 4 Kashmir is a Pan-India movement to reclaim our lost ground and rehabilitate common Indians in Kashmir with dignity and honour.