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Abdullah, Mufti slam govt over 'attack' on Constitution, urge people to oust BJP from power

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New Delhi, Mar 31 (PTI) NC chief Farooq Abdullah and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti castigated the BJP Sunday, accusing it of violating the Constitution, as the two former Jammu and Kashmir chief ministers attended an INDIA bloc rally here in support of arrested opposition leaders Arvind Kejriwal and Hemant Soren.

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The 'Loktantra Bachao' (save democracy) rally was organised at the Ramlila Maidan here where Abdullah also asserted that they will continue to be part of the INDIA bloc "till our last breath".

"What is our aim? Our only aim is to save the Constitution. There is an attack on the Constitution. Even the CJI (Chief Justice of India) is getting threats. This is our condition. People are being made to fight each other. You have to vote against this. You have to raise your voice. We will not leave the alliance till our last breath," he told the audience.  Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mufti said the way opposition leaders are being put in jail makes it "Kalyug ka Amrit Kaal".

"Today the country is going through a tough phase. The condition is such that people are straightaway being put into jail without. There is no due process, no lawyers. This is what is called "Kalyug ka Amrit Kaal" where people are put in jail.

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"I am not talking about Umar Khalid who has been in jail for last two years or Sidheeq Kappan (a journalist who was arrested in 2020 and was released later). I am talking about your representatives whom you elect as MLAs, chief ministers, Lok Sabha members. They are slapped with corruption allegations, and put behind bars. We have seen this in Jammu and Kashmir over the last five years," she said.  "Those who flout laws and Constitution are not patriot but an anti-national. Jammu and Kashmir is a laboratory. Things are first tested there and then applied elsewhere," she claimed.

She said Kejriwal and Soren have been arrested for no reason.

"What is the fault of Kejriwal ji and Hemant Soren ji? If Kejriwal joins the BJP, the media, which has been calling him corrupt Kejriwal, will say there is no other 'kattar imaandar' (staunchly honest person) like him. What was his fault? That he built good schools where the children of the poor could study and from where engineers, doctors could emerge. He gave free water, free power and built good hospitals," Mufti asserted.  She said the BJP has no problems with nepotism but it has problems with only one family -- the Nehru-Gandhi family.

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"They have problem with family (parivar) but not nepotism (parivar-waad). If they had problems with nepotism, they would not have inducted Jyotiraditya Scindia and Milind Deora in the party. Rajnath Singh's son would not have been in politics. If today Aaditya Thackeray joins the BJP, they won't have problem with nepotism.  "They have problem with only one family. That family built this country, made sacrifices, went to jail -- the Nehru-Gandhi family. Had there been more such families, the country would have reached much beyond Chandrayaan," she asserted.  She charged that the youth were not given "two crore jobs" as promised by the prime minister but they were handed "sticks" and given slogans.

"They gave them slogans -- sometimes over the country, sometimes over religion and told them to kill, lynch on the basis of food, appearance and attire. They criminalised the youth. They made them into rioters and told them that you won't be sent to jail. But don't ask them about jobs," she charged.  Mufti said that opposition leaders were accused of corruption, but in reality, the corruption committed by the BJP through electoral bonds was "unprecedented".

"Such corruption never took place in our country in the last 75 years. They are the most corrupt government. Today, we have not gathered here to save Kejriwal but to save the Constitution -- that Constitution that gave you the right to vote, that vote through which you choose your government. If you do not wake up today, your vote will not have any value," she said.  The leader urged people to tell everyone that Kejriwal and Soren are in jail "because they want to save the Constitution and the right to vote".

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"This is happening for the first time that even before elections, rigging is happening by arresting opposition leaders. The INDIA bloc does not have Facebook, YouTube, newspapers or TV. They (the ruling party) have everything -- Godi, Modi, media. Please be our TV, our newspaper, our Facebook and YouTube," she told the crowd.

Soren was arrested by the ED on January 31 for allegedly forging land-related documents, while Kejriwal was taken into custody by the agency on March 21 in a money laundering case linked to the now-scrapped Delhi excise policy.

The Delhi chief minister is in the ED custody till April 1. PTI SLB SJJ TIR TIR

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