Onus on Modi to retain secular fabric: Farooq

Says India can't afford to get fragmented on basis of religion

National Conference president Farooq Abdullah on Monday decried the exploitation of religious sentiments for political and electoral gains, saying Prime Minister Narendra Modi should take the lead in ending this malady in the larger interest of retaining the secular fabric of India.

"The country of Mahatma Gandhi cannot afford to get fragmented into bits and pieces on the basis of religion to satiate the political agendas of a few outfits," he said while addressing party workers in Jammu.

Abdullah, a former Union minister, expressed concern over vitiating Gujarat elections on religious basis. He hoped the prime minister to appreciate the danger of communal polarisation, adding that the nation as such should also introspect over the sordid state of political affairs.

"Narendra Modi is the prime minister of all, irrespective of religious or regional affiliations and this fact should neither be ignored nor undermined," Abdullah said, hoping that Modi will not allow himself to get swayed by petty politics.

He advised the BJP and the RSS to refrain from "generating passions and exploiting public sentiments", especially during elections, saying that the growing trend of dividing nation on religious lines was detrimental to national interest.

Abdullah, who represents Srinagar parliamentary constituency in the Lok Sabha, lamented attempts to provoke people to fight over mandir and masjid issues. "India does not belong to a specific religion, but it is a beautiful vase of flowers of different colours. The people of all faiths have equal rights in secular India," he said.

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