Counted among those politicians in India who keep journalists fed with soundbites, Dr Farooq Abdullah has often run into trouble with scribes. However, on Saturday in Jammu, things went a bit too far when he called a senior journalist communal.
On the sidelines of a party event in Jammu, the National Conference leader lost cool at Times Now journalist Pradeep Dutta. Farooq was critical of Dutta when the latter questioned his repeated demands for dialogue with Pakistan.
“What do you want to hear from me”, Farooq lashed angrily when Dutta pointed to killing of two cops in Kashmir’s Bandipore the previous evening. “Are we not sad at that. Even the cops are not safe, what to say of the ordinary citizens”, said Farooq as he advised Dutta to also care to ask these questions to the Government as well. Dialogue should happen with Pakistan, said Farooq while reminding “when government can talk to China even in face of deep invasion of our land, what’s the harm in talking to Pakistan”.
As Dutta insisted with more questions and could be heard saying “China doesn’t send militants, Pakistani militants execute killings everyday, Farooq retorted by saying “Sardarji, I will not talk to you. You defamed me earlier also, I have seen that earlier too. I already stand warned by you”.
When Dutta said it is my job as a journalist to ask questions, Farooq lost his cool. “No, you are not journalist. You are communal. I am saying this in your face. You are communal”. With this Farooq left the venue.
A senior editor with the Times Now, Pradeep is known for asking hard questions. He takes clear stand on the issues of national security.