Asserting that some “radical elements” were trying to divide the people of the country on communal lines amid the hijab controversy, National Conference president Farooq Abdullah on Sunday said everyone has the right to wear whatever they want and is free to practice his or her religious beliefs.
“The country is equal for all. You have a right to eat anything, to wear anything till you do not put the integrity of the nation in danger. Everyone has his own religion,” Mr Abdullah, who is also a Member of Parliament, told reporters in Pulwama in south Kashmir.
He said the “attacks” on religion are being done by some “radical elements”.
“These radical elements are trying to divide the people of the country on communal lines so as to win polls. God willing, it will end one day,” the National Conference leader said.
Additionally, to a query about the delimitation commission, Mr Abdullah said it is “totally wrong”.
“We are preparing our response and will submit that to them (panel) before (Feb) 14. It will come before you as well and you will see what issues we have raised,” he said.
The Delimitation Commission, mandated to redraw the assembly constituencies of Jammu and Kashmir, was formed in March 2020.
It is headed by former Supreme Court judge Ranjana Prakash Desai and has Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra and the state election commissioner of Jammu and Kashmir as its ex-officio members.
In its draft report shared with its five associated members — all Lok Sabha members from Jammu and Kashmir — the delimitation panel has proposed an overhaul of assembly and Lok Sabha constituencies in the union territory.
Mr Abdullah, while advocating talks between India and Pakistan, said the friendship between the two countries would break the waves of animosity.
“It seems that the relations between India and Pakistan will become better. If there is friendship between the two countries, this wave of animosity will break,” the Srinagar Lok Sabha MP.