BJP's governance agenda failing: Omar Abdullah

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New Delhi, Aug 31: Dismissing as mere "sloganeering" the statements made by BJP leaders on love jehad and forced conversions, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Sunday said such remarks are an acknowledgement that BJP's governance agenda was "failing".

"I think rather than being worried by it, I think we should take some satisfaction from it because the more BJP is going to tom tom this communal agenda, the more they are basically acknowledging that their governance agenda is failing. They have fought an election on the agenda of governance," he said.

He was reacting to statements made by BJP's Uttar Pradesh chief Lakshmikant Bajpayee about 'love jehad', party's campaign chief Yogi Adityanath on forced conversions and controversial statement by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat suggesting that all Indians are Hindus. Omar also said that he was not surprised over "silence" of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the alleged hate speeches made by his party leaders.

"Why are you surprised. This is the party that went to town criticising the previous prime minister for being quiet. But this prime minister is even more quiet than the other one. Sure you get the set piece speeches at political events and government functions but nothing beyond that," he told in a TV interview.

Asked whether it could be termed as a double speak on part of the Prime Minister who, in his speech on Independence day called for maintaining communal harmony and on the other has never distanced himself from statements made by party leaders, he said, "Well, I think it's a bit of good cop bad cop.

"You make a nice tolerant remark, though you don't follow them through. You let the others make the more worrisome statements, you don't admonish them.

"And you basically divert the attention away what are clearly failures of governance and administration. As I said earlier these sort of statements would be unnecessary and perhaps absent if they had other things to talk about that would be of more interest to people," he said. Praising the previous Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for at least talking to journalists while returning from an overseas trip, Omar said, "He (Modi) does not take journalists with him, let alone interact with them." 

Reacting to the RSS chief's statement, Omar said, "Certainly not....I mean India is more than one religion, one community, one ideology, one thought process. This is what our founding fathers fought against. They fought against the two nation theory.

In response to statistics claimed by Bajpayee on alleged involvement of Muslims in crimes, Omar said, "This is just an indication of BJP's own politics and their very communal politics. It is their attempt to keep nation polarised because they have seen the advantages of it.

"I think the recent by-election results have caused great concern. There are elections that are coming in states that are crucial to BJP and they believe that clearly that they can't fight this election on the slogans of 'ache din aane wale hain' because the 'ache din' aren't to be anywhere seen as of now and, therefore, they will continue to play usual communal politics.

"If it means fabricating statistics or distorting truth, then they will have no hesitation in doing that," he charged.

Referring to statement of Bajpayee on 'Love-Jehad' where he had claimed that Muslims were marrying Hindu girls and then getting them converted, Omar said, "That sort of terminology and phraseology...I mean, he obviously has a better role suited as a script writer in Bollywood. These are the sort of names one would expect in a B class or a C class Bollywood movie and not from a state leader of a largest party in the country today.

"I mean you don't get to decide whom you fall in love with and I certainly can't be attributed to some sort of design on part of a wider community. It takes two people to fall in love, you can't do it alone. If the Muslim boy is falling in love with a Hindu girl, its both together and its not one on their own and to attribute political motive to this is honestly pretty reprehensible but it is not surprising," he said.

On a question about the statement made by BJP MP from Ghorakhpur Yogi Adityanath on conversions of Muslim girls, Omar said such sort of rhetoric is taken for what it is rhetoric in his state.

"But it does cause some level of concern because this party (BJP) is not just a political party now, they are ruling the government in the Centre and they are ruling the government in the Centre with majority all of their own.

"So unless the government of India distances themselves from views like this, this is going to cause concern among all right thinking people. I don't think its just the Muslims who will be worried, I would like to believe that people cutting across religious lines but of more sensible variety would be concerned by talk like this," he said.

The Chief Minister flayed Union Minister Kalraj Mishra for his statement that Hindutava was India's identity. "I think India's identity is far more than that. India's identity is its secular framework. Nobody expected this country to survive in 1947, everybody expected it to break apart and balkanize but we stood the test of time and that is India's identity. Nothing else," he said.

PTI

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