Omar Abdullah's Party Says Will Go To Speaker Over Controversial PM Quote

Omar Abdullah's party bluntly denied PM Narendra Modi's claim while many found the quote to have been picked up from a satire website.

Omar Abdullah's Party Says Will Go To Speaker Over Controversial PM Quote

Omar Abdullah, who was attacked by the PM for the quote, has been under arrest for six months.

New Delhi:

The National Conference will request Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla to ask Prime Minister Narendra Modi to clarify a quote that he attributed to their leader Omar Abdullah in parliament on Thursday, the party has said.

Attacking political leaders from Jammu and Kashmir for their opposition to the centre's decision to scrap the erstwhile state's special status and split it into two union territories, PM Modi had accused Omar Abdullah of saying that the move would "bring an earthquake that would separate it from India".

However, Mr Abdullah's party bluntly denied the claim while many found the quote to have been picked up from a satire website called FakingNews.com.

"Omar Abdullah made no such statement. Every statement of Omar Abdullah is in the public domain," National Conference spokesperson Imran Dar told NDTV.

His party colleague Hasnain Masoodi said, "If record is not corrected, this will be recorded as parliament proceedings... We will urge the Speaker to request the Prime Minister to clarify on source of information. And, if found to be incorrect, the remarks must be removed from proceedings."

Omar Abdullah has been under arrest since the central government announced the changes to Jammu and Kashmir's status in August and enforced a severe security clampdown and communications blockade. On Thursday, charges under the tough Public Safety Act - which allows for arrest without trial for three months - were brought against him and another former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.

Speaking in parliament on Thursday, the Prime Minister blamed Omar Abdullah, his father Farooq Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti - three of the most prominent mainstream politicians from the region - for the growth of terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir and the exodus of the Kashmiri Pandits in 1990.

"Mehbooba Mufti said 'India has cheated Kashmir. It seems we picked the wrong side in 1947'. Omar Abdullah had said 'Removing Article 370 would bring an earthquake that will separate Kashmir from India'. Farooq Abdullah said 'if Article 370 is removed, there will be no one in the valley to unfurl the Indian flag'. Can any person devoted to the Indian constitution ever accept this?" PM Modi said in parliament.

On Friday, a word from PM Modi's speech in parliament, when he took on the opposition in Rajya Sabha on the National Population Register (NPR), was expunged after it was found to be unparliamentary. A word was also removed from comments made by opposition leader Ghulam Nabi Azad of the Congress.

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