Srinagar, April 3, (NDTV): Omar Abdullah has said that he resigned as a union minister after the 2002 Gujarat riots, but it was not accepted by then prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee.
M Abdullah, who is the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, was part of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance at the time. Today, he was responding to criticism on his staying in the alliance even after the riots in Narendra Modi’s Gujarat.
“I had resigned, you can take out the records of Parliament, the vote that took place in Parliament on Gujarat, I did not take part in it, it is a secondary thing that Atal Bihari Vajpayee did not accept my resignation and I did not press for that, but the record is a witness that I had tendered my resignation after the Gujarat riots and did not vote in Parliament,” Mr Abdullah said.
The 44-year-old became the youngest union minister when he took charge of the foreign ministry in the BJP-led government in 2001. The riots tore through Gujarat the following year, in February.
Mr Abdullah resigned 10 months later and left the alliance, after becoming the president of his National Conference party.
Mr Modi, who has been Chief Minister of Gujarat since 2001, is the BJP’s candidate for prime minister. His critics say he didn’t do enough to stop the riots on his watch. A Supreme Court inquiry has found no evidence of his role. This was upheld by a trial court last year.