Farooq Abdullah questions EVM

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Srinagar: Barely few days ahead of commencement of general elections, National Conference President Farooq Abdullah on Sunday raised questions over reliability of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM).

“April 18 is the voting date (in Srinagar). Do check the machines (EVM) while casting voting and remain cautious. These machines have been manipulated. I said the same thing in Kolkata,” said Abdullah while addressing an election rally at Rajbagh here.

Continuing with his doubts about the EVMs, Abdullah, who is contesting Srinagar Lok Sabha seat, said, “You vote for one party and the vote get cast to other party. You should remain cautious and check the slip (after casting vote) to find whether the vote has been cast rightly….don’t be afraid, this is you right,” said Abdullah.

The first phase of the election will be held on April 11. In Kashmir, Baramulla parliamentary seat will go to polls on the day.

Questioning New Delhi over its claims about bringing down an F-16 of Pakistan during recent escalation between India and Pakistan, Abdullah said government of India was now terming the statement of US that no aircraft had been brought down as wrong.

“During Kargil war it was the US which provided us with maps and picture about Pakistan Army in Mushkoh Valley in the desert region. I have myself seen those pictures. That time we listened to them, but today when they say that no Pakistani aircraft has been brought down, they are termed liars,” said Abdullah.

He said government of India should approach United Nations for setting up a commission to bring truth to the fore about the claims made by government of India. “It will become clear whose aircraft has been brought down,” said Abdullah.

A US count of the Pakistani F-16s has found that no aircraft is missing indicating India’s claim of striking down a Pakistani fighter jet during recent military escalation between the two countries may be “wrong”, an American magazine has reported.

But India has repeatedly said that Wing Commander Abhinandan Vardhaman’s Mig-21 shot down an F-16 in a dogfight before his own plane went down on other side of the LoC.

The Indian Air Force has said there were radio signatures and communication which showed that one of the two ejections sighted on February 27 was a Lockheed Martin F-16 aircraft of the Pakistan Air Force.

“Let there be the commission, the truth will come to the fore,” said Abdullah.
Abdullah said when Modi came to power he promises “sab ka saath, sab ka vika”. “What did you (Modi) did for J&K? Did you bring peace here and did u stop bloodshed. This government is the biggest liar….he (the PM) has set entire country on fire and is taking the nation on a dangerous path.”

Abdullah said the upcoming election was a “challenge to save India and its secular character”. “The big question is to ensure that 22 crore Muslims and crores of Sikhs and people from other minorities in this country can live with dignity,” said Abdullah, adding the election was a challenge to save the rights of minorities.

Hitting out at RSS for its “design to divide” India said the party wants to turn India into a “Hindu Rashtra”.

“Mahatma Gandhi gave his life for the country. He fought for everybody. Who killed him? It was the same RSS that is creating problems in India,” said Abdullah.

Hitting out at PDP, BJP and Peoples Conference Abdullah asked people to reject them during the upcoming election. “Be cautious of them; one of them will come with Apple (PC), another will come with flower (Lotus of BJP) and another one with Ink and Pot (PDP), reject them all,” said Abdullah.

He said till yesterday the PC was in alliance with BJP and today the party is claiming to protect J&K’s special position. “Where were you till yesterday,” Abdullah asked.”These ink-pot people are also making claims to save Article 370 and Article 35A. She (Mehbooba) didn’t know till rugs were pulled beneath her feet”.

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