National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah on Friday (December 21) said Congress president Rahul Gandhi is no longer a “Pappu” after proving his mettle as a leader by winning elections in the three Hindi heartland states.
Speaking at an event in Kolkata, Abdullah said “Rahul Gandhi is no longer a Pappu. He has proved his mettle by winning three states,”.
Gandhi has often been mocked by the BJP and his opposition as “Pappu”, a colloquial sneer.
Stating that it was necessary to project young leaders in India to ensure the nation’s progress, the National Conference leader said Rahul Gandhi should be given more time.
Later, he met West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and described her as his “sister”.
Abdullah expressed hope that the Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo will do her bit to save the country, which was currently heading towards a “wrong direction”.
The National Conference leader also took on the NDA government at the Centre, alleging institutions like the RBI are being polluted under the present regime.
He alleged that efforts are being made to divide the country on religious lines.
“It is wrong the way they are trying to divide the nation on the basis of religion. The way there has been interference in Muslim religion and its practices is unfortunate,” he said.
While speaking on the issue of unrest in Kashmir, Abdullah said the Army and the CRPF are not the solution to the problem of the Valley.
Until and unless cross-border terrorism from Pakistan stops there can never be any progress in bilateral relations. The only way the relationship can be built if Pakistan stops terrorism, he said.
India and Pakistan relations have to be solved to solve problems in Afghanistan, Abdullah said.
“Just because Pakistan doesn’t stop cross border terrorism, Muslims in India are getting affected. The tragedy of terrorism is every Muslim is suspected to be terrorists. All Muslims are not terrorists, Indian Muslims don’t support Pakistanis,” he said.
Meanwhile, Abdullah also criticized the Centre’s decision to allow 10 agencies to intercept “any information” on computers and said the move would be detrimental to the country’s interests.
(With PTI Inputs)