Joined hands with Cong to keep India strong: Abdullah

Joined hands with Cong to keep India strong: Abdullah

National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah. PTI file photo

Regional National Conference (NC) President and MP Farooq Abdullah on Friday claimed that his party joined hands with the Congress to save the nation from those who are trying to divide it on the basis of religion.

"We have given this sacrifice (to enter into an alliance with the Congress) for one aim - to keep India a secular country and also keep India strong. There is no other goal in it,” Abdullah said while speaking at a joint election rally of the NC and the Congress for the Lok Sabha election in Jammu.

“We have to live in this country and strengthen it and its secular ethos which was preached by Mahatma Gandhi. To bring the country out of this quagmire, we have come together. We ensure you (Congress) our full support," he said.

Earlier on Wednesday, after the two parties reached to a pre-poll alliance, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad had said, “It (alliance) was done in the national interest, to strengthen secular forces in Jammu and Kashmir as the state faces threat from Pakistan.”

The NC has not fielded any candidate from Jammu and Udhampur parliamentary constituencies in order to support the Congress, while the latter has decided not to field its candidate from Srinagar Lok Sabha seat, from where Abdullah is contesting. “There will be a ‘friendly contest’ on Anantnag, Baramulla and Ladakh seats.

The NC and Congress had contested three seats each in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and both the parties had drawn a blank with the BJP and PDP winning three each. NC had contested all three seats in the Kashmir Valley and Congress two seats of Jammu region and one from Ladakh.