Abdullahs saw new political reality and joined BJP: Advani

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New Delhi, Mar 25 (UNI) Legendary Kashmiri leader Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah had ordered the arrest of Jana Sangh founder Shyama Prasad Mookerjee in 1953, but his son Farooq Abdullah realised the new political reality and decided to ally with the BJP, the successor of the Jana Sangh, said Leader of the Opposition L K Advani.

''It was a matter of considerable satisfaction for us that the National Conference, which was in power in Srinagar at that time, had decided to join the NDA,'' he wrote in his memoirs 'My Country My Life'.

The BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate said the Abdullah family's association with the BJP carried a political significance of its own.

''After all, it was Sheikh Abdullah who had ordered the arrest of Dr Mookerjee in 1953 when he had entered Jammu and Kashmir in defiance of the notorious 'permit system'. Dr Mookerjee's martyrdom in Srinagar was for the cause of Jammu and Kashmir's full integration into the Indian Union.'' The former Deputy Prime Minister further said the Jana Sangh was a fledgling party in 1953 but by 1998, the BJP, its successor, was a ruling party in New Delhi.

''Hence, by choosing to ally with the BJP, the Abdullah family had acknowledged the new political reality of India. In my very first meeting with him, I said to him: 'Farooq Sahab, let us put history behind us. Destiny has brought you to power in Srinagar and us in New Delhi at the same time.

''Let us work together to bring about a positive change in the climate in Jammu and Kashmir.' I must say that I established a fairly good working relationship with him.'' MORE UNI AG MSJ RN1355

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