J&K: PDP, NC Against BJP’s Negative Agenda25 December 2010
The Economic Times
Srinagar: Regional parties have strongly reacted to BJP leader’s call that Article 370 should be abrogated and Jammu & Kashmir fully integrated into the nation. While PDP-Kashmir’s most polled political party and state’s principal opposition-termed it negative politics, the ruling National Conference said the statements were misleading. BJP leaders attending ‘Ekta Sankalp Rally’ at Jammu on Friday said they fight against the grant of autonomy, self-rule or ‘azadi’ to Kashmir to check further dilution of J&K’s integration with rest of India. They threatened a nation wide agitation if New Delhi granted more powers to Kashmir, which could further take away the state from India. The BJP top brass-L K Advani, Nitin Gadkari, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley-attended the rally. Gadkari called for abrogation of Article 370 and accused Kashmir of usurping the rights of people in Jammu and Ladakh. “The feeling that J&K is a special state should be removed and it should be totally integrated with India,” he said. He said the particular article is responsible for backwardness of the state and is a factor preventing investments from the mainland businesses. Accusing Congress of “lacking ideas”, L K Advani said the tricolour is unfurling in the state because of the sacrifice of Shyama Prasad Mukhrejee. The party, he said, will continue its fight for ‘Ek Nishaan and Ek Samvidhaan’ in J&K. Sushima Swaraj said instead of listening to the grievances of the people in Ladakh and Jammu, the rulers are busy appeasing the separatists. Arun Jaitley said J&K problem will be settled once and for all if Congress will reject Nehruvian formula on Kashmir and adopt Dr Mukherjee’s formula. The party is setting up a committee of senior party leaders to monitor the happenings and developments in J&K. Party leaders attacked various state government policies including the rehabilitation of militants trapped on the other side of the LoC and continued denial of citizenship rights to the West Pakistani refugees who entered the state in 1947. Party leaders attacked UPA for not hanging Afzal Guru. Day after, state political parties fiercely reacted to the statements. “It was sad how the main opposition was trying to destroy the national consensus on resolution of J&K problem initiated by none other than its patriarch Atal Behari Vajpayee,” former chief minister Mufti Sayeed said. “Kashmir problem cannot be wished away and the first major realisation of this fact was articulated by none other than him.” He said while the day to day priorities of the political parties keep changing in accordance with political dynamics, problems like Kashmir needed a consistent and consensual approach.