National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah on Saturday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi “failed” to carry forward the legacy of AB Vajpayee during his stint in power.

“Modi has failed to carry forward the legacy of Vajpayee. The people of J-K did not see him (Modi) put into practice the catchwords of ‘Jamhooriyat, Insaniyat and Kashmiriyat’,” Abdullah said addressing a public meet at Damhal Hanjipura in Kulgam district of south Kashmir.

The NC president said the people of the state have not seen Modi deliver on his promises.

“His (Modi’s) words have been confined to rhetoric only. Had he the sincerity of thought to implement it, he would have done so since 2014, however, no concrete step was taken by the incumbent BJP government led by PM Modi to realize it on ground.

“Today we see him tout ‘Vajpayee formula’, why didn’t he implement it on ground for past five years. We didn’t see him do justice either with the people of our state. On the contrary the people of our state have never in history suffered so immensely as they did during PM Modi-led BJP government,” Abdullah said.

Underscoring the need of dialogue between India and Pakistan, Abdullah said the NC has always maintained that dialogue was the only way to resolve the Kashmir issue.

“Our party deems Indo-Pak camaraderie essential for peace and prosperity to return to our state, which always comes in the line of fire between the two. There is no substitute to dialogue,” he said.

The former Union minister said there has been “an exponential increase in miseries” faced by the people of the state since BJP-PDP embraced each other in 2015.

He said the parliamentary polls were significant as the people of the state were voting for the identity and the integrity of the state.

“Our state is facing a grim situation. The need of the hour demands us to forge unity. The situation is no different from the British era. The British prolonged their rule in India with their divide and rule policy. We aren’t still independent in true sense, today our people continue to fall prey to the shenanigans of those forces who for their petty electoral gains are dividing the people on caste, creed and sectarian considerations,” he said.

He asked people to remain vigilant of such forces as their sole agenda was to “destroy” the pluralistic visage, unique identity and special constitutional status of the state.

“We have to speak in one voice, if we want to protect our identity. Today, our sole agenda is to secure the state’s unique identity, however, we cannot think of taking on our enemies if we fall prey to their divisive agenda,” he said.