People should have a choice to call their country India or Bharat: Omar Abdullah

Omar Abdullah
Omar AbdullahFile/ GK

Pulwama, Sep 6: Former Chief Minister and National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah on Wednesday said that the citizens should have a choice to call their country India or Bharat.

"Both India and Bharat are mentioned in the constitution. One could use either of the names," Omar told reporters in south Kashmir's Pulwama district. Omar visited Quil, Pulwama to commiserate with senior party leader Mohammad Khali Bandh on the demise of his grandson. He said that the Prime Minister should not go against the constitution.

"If you see the plane by which Prime Minister is flying to Indonesia, both Bharat and India are inscribed on it," Omar said.

The name row was triggered after the President's invitation to G20 leaders mentioned 'President of Bharat" instead of President of India".

Omar said that the name India could not be erased." We have IITs, ISRO and other institutes using the name India. You could not change it from everywhere", he said.

Omar said that if the government was doing it just because that the opposition parties had named their alliance as 'INDIA' then they were ready to change it. "We can not put the entire nation in trouble. We are not here to burden country with extra expenses but to minimise them", Omar said.

Referring to the committee on One Nation, One Election, Omar said that if the intention of this move was to ease the process then no one would be having any objection to it. "But if the objective of such committee is to eliminate regional parties and harm federal structure, they would vehemently oppose it," he said. He said that if you begun with One Election ,One Nation and culminate in One Nation, No Election, no one was going to support it.

Omar said that they debate on the issues when it would be brought to the parliament. He also welcomed the Supreme Court's decision to allot NC the plough symbol for Ladakh polls.

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