Have no magic wand to predict that Opposition unity possible before 2024 polls: Farooq Abdullah

Jammu: National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah on Monday said he does not have a magic lamp that can predict opposition unity ahead of the next year’s parliamentary elections but said non-BJP parties must realise the need to come together to safeguard democracy in the country.

Abdullah added that his party will not beg for assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir but is ready to fight panchayat and local body polls that are likely to be held later this year.

“I do not have a magic lamp to predict the unity of opposition parties (ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections). Attempts are on (to forge a united front) and we hope that good sense will prevail and they will all come together,” Abdullah told reporters at the party headquarters here.

He said former Jammu and Kashmir governor Satya Pal Malik has also pitched for opposition unity to take on the BJP in the parliamentary polls.

“Malik (in the recent past) said a number of things… He talked about the 2019 Pulwama attack, how the request for five aircraft was declined and 700 trucks had to move on a road that was not fully sanitised — which is a tragedy.

“In his latest statement, he asked for opposition unity (against the BJP). I hope the opposition (parties) will realise the importance of unity and they will work together (to safeguard democracy),” he said.
The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister said the National Conference will not beg for assembly elections in the Union Territory because “they (BJP) are trampling democracy”.

“India is a democratic country and you are denying the people their right,” he said.
However, the National Conference is ready to fight panchayat and District Development Council elections or assembly polls for that matter, whenever those are held, Abdullah asserted.

“Thanks to the almighty, something is happening… At least the panchayat elections will take place. That is the basis of democracy and we will not leave any elections,” he said, adding that he does not care when the assembly elections take place.

“Let them decide when they are going to hold the assembly polls, we are ready,”