Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today expressed regret that BJP was making withdrawal of sedition charges against Kashmiri students in Meerut an election issue.
Participating in the two-day India Today conclave here, Omar argued that if youngsters from any other part of the country would have cheered for Pakistan, it would not have been noticed. "But the fact is that these people are from Kashmir automatically changes the context," he said.
Omar said the students should not be confused about their identity but even if they are confused, it does not call for slapping of sedition charge.
"The university has taken administrative action against them. And it should have been allowed to rest there," he said.
The Chief Minister said his worry now was that the BJP was making it an election issue. "67 kids becoming pawn to what is turning out to be pretty messy election is pretty unfortunate," he said.
He was referring to the recent incident where Kashmir students were slapped with sedition charges for cheering for Pakistani cricket team during the recent match with India but the charges were later withdrawn by the UP government.
Omar also categorically rejected the idea of joining the NDA alliance after the general elections and made it clear that his party National Conference was an ally of NDA earlier only because of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
"Our decision to join with NDA was only because of Vajpyee. We don't see anybody in BJP today who is coming even close to what he was and therefore, the question of National Conference aligning with NDA simply does not arise." Talking about the general situation in the state, the Chief Minister said the situation in Jammu and Kashmir may not be normal but they are beginning to be a "lot closer to be normal".
Asked what would be his message for young Kashmiris, Omar, 43, said "I want to take out the uncertainty in their lives. The fact that they have been brought up on the diet of uncertainty -- uncertainty about the future of Kashmir, uncertainty about their own future."