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Farooq Abdullah slams politicians for using religion as a poll plank

Coimbatore, Feb 6 (ANI): Minister for New and Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah has attacked political factions, particularly the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), for exploiting the country’s vast religious and cultural diversity to win votes.

Talking to reporters on the sidelines of a seminar here, Abdullah criticised leaders for using religion to mobilise and channelise the emotions of the people.

“When I (in reference to any political leader) want to win an election, I will say Allah (God) is in danger, not saying that Farooq Abdullah (in reference to any political leader) is in danger…So, I say Allah is in danger, and I am here on behalf of Allah. (A) Hindu (leader) will get up and say, I will bring a Ram temple. Build it, who stops you? Go and build it. But, don’t fool the people, that we are all saviours,” Abdullah said.

Leaders must also refrain from dividing India on religious or cultural grounds merely to consolidate their votebanks, said Abdullah.

“When will that time come when we no longer divide India on religion, on language (and) on culture. God has given us a nation, which is multi-cultural, multi-lingual, and our hearts beats with the same beat for India. It is that India that I want to see, where there will be no differences and we will move forward. May Allah do that one day, that India emerges,” he added.

Abdullah was targetting veteran BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani for raising the contentious Babri Mosque-Ram Temple issue ahead of polls in Uttar Pradesh.

Triggering an intense political outcry, Advani had declared in a recent political rally that the Ram temple issue was close to his heart and that he hoped to be able to live and see a splendid temple being built at the disputed site. (ANI)