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BJP win in state polls not INDI bloc’s defeat as opposition did not contest together: Omar Abdullah

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Srinagar: The BJP’s victory in the assembly polls in three states is not the defeat of the INDIA bloc as the opposition parties did not contest the polls together, National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah said on Tuesday.

The BJP swept Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Chhattisgarh on Sunday inflicting a resounding defeat on the Congress to tighten its stranglehold in the Hindi heartland.

“INDI alliance didn’t fail, the Congress was unsuccessful to some extent in this election and it knows the reasons better,” Abdullah told reporters after paying tributes to his grandfather Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah on his 118th birth anniversary.

“These elections were not contested as an alliance. They were fought separately by the parties. There were candidates from the Congress, SP, AAP, and others. So, I don’t consider it as a defeat of the INDI alliance because we didn’t contest as an alliance,” Abdullah said.

The NC vice president, whose party is part of the INDIA bloc, said the alliance will now have to assess the damage done by the statements given by some alliance members against one another during the elections.

Asked about West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s remarks that she has not received an invitation for the Wednesday’s meeting of the alliance, Abdullah said he can’t speak on behalf of the TMC chief while asserting that his party will be in attendance.

“I can’t speak for Mamata ji… I can only speak for the NC and the NC has received an invitation for dinner at the residence of the Congress president tomorrow. Now, if this meeting takes place, then certainly, we will attend. If, for some reason, it is postponed, then we will see what happens going ahead,” he said.

On the BJP claiming the elections were a semi final before the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, Abdullah said when the BJP loses a state poll, it says that the result will not impact the general elections, but when the party wins, it terms it as a victory of the Narendra Modi and central government.

“Whether this was a semi final or not, you can gauge it from five years before when Congress won (assembly polls) in Chattisgarh, MP and Rajasthan. But, when Parliament elections were held, the Congress faced defeat in all three states,” he said.

Abdullah also asked the Congress to focus on the general elections next year.

“Elections are like that, you win some, you lose some. You can’t only be satisfied with the elections you win, you must also be ready to accept defeat. Now, if the Congress has lost… it must analyse the reasons,” he said.

Hitting out at the BJP over its statement that the next chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir will be from the saffron party, Abdullah said the party lacks courage to conduct assembly polls in the Union Territory.

“A chief minister will be elected when elections take place, there cannot be a CM without an election. The BJP is not in a mood to hold elections, they don’t have the courage to conduct elections as they know that they will have to face heavy defeat,” he said.

“They are not even ready to conduct Panchayat elections. Panchayats are completing their tenure on January 5, municipalities are ending one by one, when they are not ready to conduct these elections, how are they claiming about assembly polls,” the NC leader said.

The former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir said the BJP knows that it can’t get the required numbers to form a government in the Union Territory. “Union Home Minister (Amit Shah) has introduced a Bill in Parliament today to reserve three seats on which people will be nominated by the LG. Seats have been filled by nomination earlier too, but it happened after elections,” he said. “Giving the LG the power to nominate people clearly proves that the BJP is aware that they will not get the numbers and so, they are trying to save face through nominations,” he added.

Abdullah also expressed grief over the accident in Shimla in which six labourers from Jammu and Kashmir were killed. (PTI)

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