Farooq Abdullah's remarks anti-national: BJP

The BJP on Monday accused Farooq Abdullah of making “seditious and anti-national” statements on the issue of restoring J&K’s special status, a charge vehemently denied by National Conference which alleged that the BJP had twisted his remarks.

BJP national spokesperson, Sambit Patra said Abdullah, in an interview to a TV channel stated that “with China’s support”  Article 370 of the Constitution, which conferred special status to Jammu and Kashmir, will be restored. Addressing a press conference at the party office in the national capital, Patra claimed Abdullah has also justified China’s recent aggression at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) by saying that the abrogation of Article 370 by Parliament has irked and disturbed the communist country.

“Abdullah remarks are seditious and anti-national” and have made him a “hero in China”, the BJP leader said, underlining that Article 370 was abrogated in a “constitutional manner” by the Parliament. The National Conference denied that Abdullah had said Article 370 would be restored with the help of China. It also affirmed that Abdullah never justified China’s expansionist mindset or its aggression during his interview on Sunday as claimed by Patra at the presser in New Delhi.

“Our President articulated the people’s anger over abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A by Parliament on August 5 last year as he has consistently done in recent months. He emphasised that no one in Jammu and Kashmir was willing to accept these changes,” an NC spokesman said. He said Abdullah’s comments on China in response to a question have been “completely twisted” by Patra. “He (Abdullah) never said that together with China we will bring back Article 370 as Sambit Patra claimed at a media briefing,” the NC spokesman said. Patra had said it was painful and worrisome when a former Chief Minister and sitting MP makes such a statement and “justifies the expansionist attitude of China”.

Parliamentarians from opposition parties have the right to attack and criticise the government, but “does it suit a sitting MP to speak against the interests of his own country out of frustration against Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” he said.