Kolkata: National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah on Saturday urged the opposition parties to fight the coming Lok Sabha elections together to oust the BJP, not worrying about issue of prime ministership, which will be settled after the polls.
Addressing the mega opposition rally here convened by the Trinamool Congress, he termed the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) a “chor” machine which needs to be replaced with ballot papers.
He hoped that a new government will assume office after the Lok Sabha polls which will create a new India.
“We have to oust the BJP. We have to fight the election together, we are together. I hope there will be a new government this year which will give justice to the entire country, which will restore the dignity of institutions and will create a new India in which everyone will live with happiness and make progress,” he said.
The former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister said that India cannot become strong by strengthening military alone but by “connecting hearts”.
“India can become strong by connecting hearts. No one who lives here should feel that he does not belong to the country. Now it is your duty and our duty that we should be together and not think that I will become prime minister. It will be seen later who will become prime minister. First we have to fight the election, fight it together and strongly that is the way to move forward.”
On the issue of EVMs, which the opposition parties have accused BJP of misusing in the past, Abdullah said “this machine should be destroyed.”
“This machine is not there in any part of the world. The machine is used for theft (of votes) and we have seen this in elections. We should together move the Election Commission and approach the President on the issue and demand that this machine should be replaced with paper ballot,” he said.
He accused the BJP-led government of doing little for women empowerment, saying women’s reservation bill has been pending in parliament for many years.
“They stood for triple talaq bill but did not do anything for welfare of women. They will not get the women’s reservation bill passed. We hope that such a government will come to power where out sisters get their rights, where they also feel that they are part of this country.
He thanked the people of Bengal for turning up for the rally in large numbers and invited them to come to Kashmir.
The mega rally has been convened by Trinamool Congress leader and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.