National Conference president Farooq Abdullah on Sunday asserted that Kashmir is, was and will continue to remain a part of India, while speaking at an event here.

Delivering the valedictory speech at the ‘Constitution and National Unity Convention-2024’, the Lok Sabha MP from Srinagar raised concerns about the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) ahead of Lok Sabha polls and expressed hope that the Election Commission will ensure that people are given a “true election”.

“I bring you all good wishes from my people. Kashmir is a part of India, has been a part of India, and will remain a part of India,” Abdullah said.

However, he added that the diversity of the nation needs to be protected for it to become strong.

“Religion does not divide us, religion unites us. There is no religion which is bad, it is we who practice it badly. If we want to move forward, the only way forward is to stand by each other, face the challenges that this nation faces together, and fight those evils that want to divide us,” he said.

Claiming that the Constitution is under threat today and that everyone needs to work together to ensure that it remains strong, the former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister said, “If we do not do that, we will regret it in the days to come. Like we regret today this machine (EVMs), that came many many years ago.”

“Today we don’t trust this machine because it is doctored and people who vote, they don’t see their vote there. I hope the Election Commission will take due regard to this and see to it that people are given a true election, whatever people want, that should be given to them. I hope it happens. Otherwise time will come when there is nothing like a Constitution, nothing like the diversity that we have,” he added.

In his address, CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said that efforts are on to change the secular democratic character of India into a fascistic “Hindutva Rashtra” character espoused by the RSS, whose society will be based on ‘Manusmriti’ and on the basis of caste oppression and hierarchies.

“We had left them behind in history when we adopted this Constitution, they (BJP) are now trying to take us back into the darkness of history, while we want to take India into the brightness of the future. So this is a battle between those who want to take India backwards and those who want to take India forward,” he added.

Yechury alleged that the central government and the Prime Minister are bent on destroying the nation and the Constitution and they should be removed from office and defeated.

“To save India therefore, we will have to convert this Amrit Kaal as the Amrit Kaal of the people, all Indian patriots have to join together and will have to fight to restore – our country, our character, our pride and our individuality and equality, with everybody else,” he added.–(PTI)