No post-poll alliance with BJP, asserts Omar

No post-poll alliance with BJP, asserts Omar

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today ruled out post-poll alliance with BJP given its stand on issues like Article 370, Uniform Civil Code and Babri Masjid as also with any other party.

Talking to reporters on the eve of results to the 87- member state assembly, he said, "Clearly, no single party is going to form a government on its own. What remains to be seen is how close to these so-called exit polls, the actual number stacks up."

Omar expressed hope that his party will put up a credible show and said "please understand where we are coming from. In the Parliament elections, I held three assembly constituencies -- all three in Srinagar. Two of them were badly hit by floods. If we extrapolate that result with the resultant post-flood anger, perhaps I should have only one constituency," he said.

Asked about the possibility of his party allying with the BJP to form the next government, he said it was inconceivable for his National Conference to get into alliance with that party in view of the latter's stand on issues which are important to the people of the state.

"The BJP went silent on Article 370 (during the election campaign) but has not dissociated from its stand on it, it has not dissociated from Ramjanambhoomi-Babri Masjid issue, it has not dissociated from Common (Uniform) Civil Code. Right till now, you have a Prime Minister who is silent about the issue of forcible conversions that is going on in some parts of the country.

"These are issues National Conference will find very difficult to reconcile itself to, should the BJP require support from the National Conference. I don't see a situation like that emerging," he said.

Omar said no lines of communication were open between National Conference and other parties in the state for a post-poll alliance.

"There are no lines of communication between NC and BJP, or with PDP or Congress," he added.

Omar, who is also the working president of NC, appealed the people to vote in large numbers for NC.

He said that NC was the only party which represents the aspirations of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh regions as also those of the sub-regions and all sections of the society.

The chief minister said that NC has never deceived people and will never deceive them in future for vote bank politics.

"Our motto and agenda is for permanent peace, political stability, prosperity, economic development and welfare of youth, women, work force, farmers and other sections of the society," he said.

About his tweet in support of Bharat Ratna for former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Omar said it should not be seen as if he was cosying up to BJP.

"Does any one really believe that one tweet can make an alliance? Please don't read more into that (tweet).

"I don't think anybody is foolish to believe that because I want or believe that Vajpayee Sahib should be given the Bharat Ratna, all other aspects will be forgotten and National Conference and BJP, in a very Bollywood style, go running towards each other and hug in a field of mustard.

"Neither me, nor my father (Farooq Abdullah) has been quiet on this. We have maintained that it would have been a good gesture on part of UPA to confer Bharat Ratna on Vajpayee. I have deep regards for Vajpayee," he said.

He said he had pitched for the highest civilian award on Twitter because of Vajpayee's birthday on December 25. "It will be fitting for the current government to recognise Vajpayee Sahib's contribution with Bharat Ratna."

Asked if NC will ally with PDP, Omar ruled out such a possibility.
On a possible alliance with Congress, he merely said that can be discussed only after the results are out tomorrow.

"If the exit polls are correct, NC and Congress will not have the numbers. So, let us wait till tomorrow," he added.

Asked if he regretted being in coalition with Congress over the past six years, Omar replied in the negative saying "NC-Congress coalition was a result of the post-poll situation in 2008".

Omar, while thanking the people for their support during his six-year stint as chief minister, said lot of good works were done during this time but there were some incidents which he would be among his biggest regrets.

He listed the events of 2010 summer agitation that saw 120 persons losing their lives, and his inability to persuade the Centre for revocation of Armed Forces Special Powers Act from the state as some of his regrets.

"I knew it would not be possible to (completely) revoke the AFSPA but a beginning could have been made," Omar said highlighting that militancy-related incidents came down by nearly 70 per cent during his tenure as Chief Minister.

Asked about how he would rate his government on a scale of 1 to 10, Omar said between 6.5 and 7.

He said that while the government enacted several anti-corruption laws, the people have not understood and used these laws as much as they could have.

Omar said the tourism sector witnessed a boom during his six-year tenure as the number of tourist arrivals is expected to cross 55 lakh by the year end compared to just 22 lakh arrivals between 2002 and 2008.

He said irrespective of the people's verdict, which will be out tomorrow, he was satisfied that they took part in large numbers across the state to repose faith in democracy.

"I do hope that people of Srinagar take lessons from some other constituencies and take larger part in elections. It is not good enough to complain about poor infrastructure, it is not good enough to complain about poor flood relief, it is not good enough to complaint about poor response, if you don't come forward and participate in a mechanism that allows you to choose your representatives that can do better for you.

"I do hope that the people of Srinagar will take lessons from some of the other constituencies and repose greater faith in the electoral process going ahead," he said.

The Chief Minister said he would look forward to serving the people of the state in "whatever capacity they deem fit".

Omar said over the years, his opponents have accused him of oppressing the people but the large scale participation in elections shows that people have chosen the democratic way of making themselves heard.

He expressed satisfaction over the smooth conduct of elections in the state.
"Personally, given the fact that these elections are taking place in the shadow of most devastating floods in more than a generation, I wouldn't have grudge the people if there participation had been much lower than this but the fact that they came out in such large numbers and participated as enthusiastically as they did.

"Barring one odd complaint about electoral malpractices, I don't recall any single incident where any electoral malpractice was highlighted by anybody in the media," he said.

Omar said if the projected seat tally of mid-20s for the BJP turns out to be correct, it would be a victory for secular parties like National Conference and PDP to have stalled the march of the national party.

"I think it is our victory that we stopped them in their tracks. I think if the BJP is unable to open its account in the Valley, that is also a victory of the secular parties like NC and PDP," he said.

Omar said more than BJP, he would be asking after results tomorrow why could not PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed take advantage of the mistakes made during his government.

"I will give you three examples on the basis of which the PDP should have crossed the 44-mark on its own and not needed an alliance. If you take the 2010 summer agitation, with the hanging of Afzal Guru and ended with the floods... And after that also if the PDP does not cross 44, then there is something seriously wrong with that party.

"If I had been in opposition with these events having taken in Mufti Sayeed government, today I would have been talking 50 plus and not 44," he said.

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