Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah on Tuesday advised Congress chief Rahul Gandhi to take on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's challenge to speak in Karnataka without reading from any paper. Taking to Twitter, Omar said: "I hope @RahulGandhi takes up the Hon PM’s challenge & speaks w/out using notes for 15 min about the Karnataka Govt & then perhaps we can ask the Hon PM to speak for 2 min about why the rape & murder of an 8 year old girl is “a minor issue”. (sic)."
The PM had, in a rally in poll-bound Karnataka, dared the Congress president to speak in any language about the achievements of his party's government in the state without referring to a piece of paper.
"I dare the Congress president to speak in Hindi, English or the mother tongue of his mother to deliver a speech in Karnataka for 15 minutes, without reading out from a piece of paper, on the achievements of (his) party government...People of Karnataka will draw their own conclusion," Modi had said at an election rally Santemaranahalli in Chamaraja district.
Omar also lashed out at the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)- Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alliance government in Jammu and Kashmir over the handling of the brutal Kathua rape case. "2 BJP ministers removed in J&K for attending a pro-rapist rally & a MLA who is reported to have attended the same rally is promoted as a minister. Why are the BJP/ @MehboobaMufti confused about where they stand on the #Kathua rape?," he had tweeted.
He hit out at the CM Mehbooba Mufti saying: "What justice can one expect from @MehboobaMufti when her Deputy CM calls the rape & murder of an 8-year-old “a minor incident that the media shouldn’t focus on”."
Soon after he was sworn in as the deputy chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Kavinder Gupta sparked a row after he called the incident of rape of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua a "small incident". "It (Kathua rape and murder) was a small thing. We have to be careful in the future that such incidents are not repeated," Gupta had said.
However later, he said that his statement was misinterpreted and that the matter is sub judice. "It is not right to rake up the issue. I had said that there are a lot of such incidents. People should not incite this issue for malicious gains," he had said.