New Delhi [India], Apr. 6 : Demanding apology from former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday said the former is backing stone pelters in the Valley, whom he used to call traitors during his regime.
"Farooq Abdullah used to call these stone pelters traitors during his government and when his son was the chief minister.
They have nothing to do with the nation and religion. Changing statements just for the sake of vote does not suit any politician," BJP leader Prabhat Jha told ANI.
Echoing similar views, BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain dubbed Abdullah's statement unfortunate while asserting that he always talks contradictory.
"In Parliament he raises slogans like 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai', 'Hindustan Jindabad' on the other hand he is protecting the ones who are pelting stones at Indian Army.
This is very saddening and he should apologise for his statement," Hussain told ANI. Taking potshots at Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government, Abdullah had earlier come out in support of stone pelters in Kashmir.
"If he (stone pelting youth) is giving up his life, he is not doing it for tourism. He is giving his life so that the destiny of this nation is decided which should be acceptable to the people of this place.
This needs to be understood," he said at an election meeting in Sonawar constituency in Jammu and Kashmir.
"Recently the tunnel was opened. He (the Prime Minister) said the youth here should think whether they want tourism or terrorism. I want to tell Modi sahib tourism is our lifeline, there is no doubt about it. But he is a stone pelter. He has nothing to do with tourism. He will starve to death but he is pelting stones for his nation and there is a need to understand this," he added.
Abdullah, who was reacting to Prime Minister Modi's statement on April 2 at the inauguration of Chenani-Nashri tunnel that Kashmir's youth need to choose between tourism and terrorism, is contesting the bye-election to Srinagar Lok Sabha seat as the joint candidate of opposition National Conference and Congress.