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Omar Abdullah joins Rahul Gandhi’s Yatra in Jammu and Kashmir / NDTV

Banihal, Jan 27, 2023: National Conference (NC) leader Omar Abdullah on Friday joined the Bharat Jodo Yatra in Banihal, Jammu and Kashmir, saying that the Rahul Gandhi-led march is not being carried out for the image makeover of the Congress leader, but rather to change the situation and atmosphere of the country.


Omar Abdullah

The former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir said he does not want to delve into Congress’ stand on the revocation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.

"The Bharat Jodo Yatra is not aimed at improving the image of Rahul Gandhi but for improving the situation in the country," the NC leader told reporters upon his arrival in this highway town, 120 km from Srinagar.

Mr Abdullah said he joined the yatra as he was more concerned about the image of the country. "We have not joined this for the image of an individual but for the image of the county," he said.

The NC leader further said Mr Gandhi did not start the yatra for personal reasons but due to his concern over the attempts to create communal tensions and target minorities in the country.

"This government might be making friends with Arab countries but the fact remains that there is no representative in this government from the largest minority of the country," he said.

"It might be for the first time since Independence that the ruling party does not have a single member of parliament -- either in Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha -- from the Muslim community. It shows their attitude," he added.

Speaking on the Congress’s stand on the abrogation of Article 370, Mr Abdullah said, "We will fight the case for the restoration of Article 370 in the court. The way the government is dragging its feet on the hearing of the petition tells us that our case is very strong."

On the elections in Jammu and Kashmir, he said it has been eight years.

"The last assembly elections were held in 2014. This has been the longest period between the two elections in Jammu and Kashmir. It was not the case even at the peak of militancy," he said.

Mr Abdullah said the government wants the people of Jammu and Kashmir to beg for elections.

"We are not beggars and we won’t beg for it," he said.

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