Press Trust of India

For Cong, ‘anti-nationalism is not a crime’, says former leader

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Jammu: Former Congress leader Sham Lal Sharma Thursday said “anti-nationalism” was not a crime for the party as he hit the campaign trail for the forthcoming general elections after joining the BJP.
The two-time Jammu and Kashmir minister and former vice-president of the state unit of the Congress also hit out at the party for its “dangerous” manifesto.
“When out of power, the Congress makes promises which are either unimplementable or dangerous in nature. I am sure the country will not oblige them again,” said Sharma at an election rally in Akhnoor border belt while campaigning for BJP candidate Jugal Kishore Sharma.
“There are clear divisive points in the manifesto which will divide the county and not unite it,” added the leader who resigned from the Congress after many decades and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) last week.
He said that it appears that the manifesto released by the Congress was prepared by a religious organisation.
“Some of the ideas are very dangerous for the security and safety of the country”, he said.
Sharma further slammed the Congress for promising to abolish the sedition law and alleged that for them, “anti-nationalism is not a crime”.
The former minister accused the Congress of encouraging those who burn the tricolour, refuse to chant ‘Jai Hind’ and disrespect the Constitution while endorsing those who support divisive and anti-national slogans like ‘Bharat tere tukde honge’.
“How can the Congress stoop so low to come back to power? Diluting AFSPA and withdrawing sedition act is a step to strengthen the hands of the secessionist. Is Congress’ hand with the secessionists or the patriots?,” he questioned.
In the quest of gaining political mileage, the opposition parties in J-K including the National Conference, the Peoples Democratic Party and the Congress were indulging in votebank politics, Sharma alleged.
He further slammed NC vice-president and former chief minister Omar Abdullah over his remarks advocating a separate prime minister and president for Jammu and Kashmir.
“While in power, the NC talks about nationalism and when out of power they issue statements which are by and large anti-national and against the unity of the country,” he said.
“J&K is part and parcel of India and isn’t anybody’s personal ‘jaagir’ (property),” he added. (PTI)

Press Trust of India

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