Omar Abdullah hits out at PM on quota bill, says ‘politically motivated’

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Published: January 8, 2019 9:32:48 PM

"You (BJP) have majority in Parliament for past four and half years, but you did not find it (bill) necessary.

The National Conference (NC) vice-president also trained his guns on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the government introducing the reservation bill in Parliament on the last day of the Winter Session.

Former chief minister Omar Abdullah Tuesday termed as “politically motivated” a bill introduced by the Centre in Lok Sabha that seeks to amend Constitution to provide 10 per cent reservation quota to economically weaker sections from the general category. The National Conference (NC) vice-president also trained his guns on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the government introducing the reservation bill in Parliament on the last day of the Winter Session, saying “had PM been sincere, he would not have waited for nearly four and a half years”. “You (BJP) have majority in Parliament for past four and half years, but you did not find it (bill) necessary.

But on the last day of the last session of the current Lok Sabha, you (BJP government) bring this bill and create a new category. It is straight way poltics being done and people are being fooled”, Abdullah told reporters here. He questioned the timing of the bill, saying: “I have problem with the timing. As far as the bill is concerned, it will be decided by Parliament or court. My question is about the timing. How come this reservation become suddenly necessary”. Hitting out at PM Modi for announcing reservation for economically weaker sections belonging to upper castes ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, Abdullah said, “Politics is a strange thing and politicians are masters in using the people. They think people are naive and gullible”.

“Prime Minister suddenly announced reservation. Had he been sincere, he would not have waited for nearly five years,” Abdullah said. The former chief minister attributed the decision to BJP’s defeat in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Telangana assembly polls. “The person (PM), who wants to do it with a clear intention, would not wait for so long. They were defeated in elections in MP, Chatisgarh, Rajasthan and Telengana, and have suddenly woken up to announce this 10 per cent reservation. They have no intent to give reservation. If they would have clear intention, they would have given it earlier.

Their intention is clear that it would get through (in Parliament)”, Abdullah added. Pointing towards its use in the 2019 general elections, Abdullah said, “If the bill doesn’t get passed, the BJP will say that they tried but Parliament didn’t pass it and they will offer the same excuse if it is defeated in the court.” Asked whether he supports quota for the poor category among the upper caste, Abdullah said if it does not violate the Supreme Court direction of 50 per cent quota and there is consensus among all political parties, he has no reservation with it.

He said the BJP has “failed” Jammu and Kashmir and only made “fake promises” of starting a new chapter of employment in the state. The BJP-PDP government destroyed the peace in Jammu and Kashmir, he alleged.

Replying to a question on youths joining militancy in the state, Adbdullah said he does not justify what they do. “I have never justified the use of militancy to achieve political gains. I always believed that J&K is a political problem and hence needs political handling and a political solution, which can be arrived at via dialogue,” the former chief minister said.

He said the Kashmir issue can only be resolved politically and killing of militants is no alternative to bring peace in the Valley. “J&K is a political problem and its answer is to deal with it politically. I am not justifying the use of violence on any side. Killings of militants will not help,” Abdullah said

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