The recent assembly poll results have demonstrated that the BJP is not invincible as there is "anger" among people over several of the Centre's policies, including on agriculture, rising fuel prices and demonetisation, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah said on Thursday.
Mr Abdullah said the results made it clear that there is anger and a feeling of alienation among the people and the Centre has been unwilling to accept this reality. He also took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying he should listen more and talk less.
"Modi ji talks a great deal, which is not wrong, but people who talk more, listen less.
"The prime minister does not listen as much as he should. Otherwise, the mass anger due to agrarian distress, demonetisation or rising fuel prices among others will not have led to humiliation for the BJP in the assembly polls," Mr Abdullah said at an event.
The BJP lost the assembly elections in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.
"The general notion that the PM is a powerful speaker and party president Amit Shah is a master strategist and both have a magic wand and will always lead the BJP to victory, has been dispelled by the poll results. We know now that (Congress chief) Rahul Gandhi can lead the Congress to victory," he said.
"We now know that it is not impossible to beat the BJP. Everything they were known for, from Shah's great management, money power and Modi's capability to galvanise masses has come a cropper," he said at a national conclave organised by 'Lokmat'.
The National Conference leader said the political mood in the country had already changed and it will not be easy for the BJP to arrest it very soon and take it into its command.
"The winds of change have begun, the atmosphere has altered. And it is not in the BJP's favour anymore," he said.
Mr Abdullah said Mr Gandhi should get the credit for his party's success as he is the man who faced the flak for the Congress' poor performance in the past elections.
He said the regional parties will play a key role in the upcoming general election, highlighting the results of Telangana and Mizoram.
He said his party decided to support the rival PDP recently to "save the state" of Jammu and Kashmir.
"We are all worried about the situation in the state. We are also concerned that the special status of Jammu and Kashmir granted under articles 370 and 35A needs to be defended in the Supreme Court. The next hearing is in January and we wanted an assurance from Government of India that it will be defended in a right manner, but haven't got it so far," he said.
Mr Abdullah, however, lauded PM Modi for reaching out to Pakistan initially to normalise ties between the two countries.
"The prime minister made sincere efforts initially. He invited former (Pakistani) Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to his swearing-in ceremony at a time when nobody would have imagined and then paid a surprise visit to Lahore, but Pakistan hasn't acted on our concerns...The perpetrators of the 26/11 Mumbai attack have not been brought to book and are roaming freely in Pakistan," he said.
"Imran Khan has to walk the talk and dispel the apprehension here in our country that he has been installed by the Army and is Army's man," he said.
Mr Abdullah said Pakistan would have to do something to win India's confidence so that New Delhi can forget the past experiences and trust Islamabad again.
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