Accusing National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party of creating “war hysteria” in Jammu and Kashmir, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national general secretary Ram Madhav on Wednesday said that any decision on Article 35A by Modi-government would be in the interests of J&K and the country.
Addressing press conference here, Madhav, who oversees BJP’s J&K affairs, said, “Centre launching a crusade against corruption in J&K has unnerved the NC and PDP. Both these parties are creating a war hysteria to divert the attention from the ongoing drive.”
He said that they are going to urge the Election Commission of India to hold Assembly elections in the state before January next year. “And when stage is set for the Assembly polls in the state, some regional parties are creating war hysteria in the state by saying this and that will happen,” he said.
In an apparent reference to PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti, Madhav said that “she is using such language and words like ‘barood say khelna (playing with the explosives) was to keep herself politically relevant and to gain political mileage.”
“To gain something out of nothing, fear is being created among people by some regional parties. We are not going to be bogged down by statements like barood say khelna etc and will instead take forward peace and development work going on in J&K,” he said. “The party (PDP) should introspect as many senior leaders didn’t even attend its foundation day celebrations.”
Asked whether Article 35 A was going to be scrapped, the BJP’s point man on J&K played safe and gave a guarded response: “See whatever decision will be taken by the Modi-government will be in the interests of the state and the country. Some issues are in the court and they will be decided there only. Our stand is clear on these issues.”
Madhav’s assertions comes at a time when speculations are rife in Kashmir that New Delhi is going to scrap the Article 35 A after 15 August. Article 35 A provides special citizenship rights to the residents of J&K and prevents outsiders from buying land and other immoveable property in the state.
About the arrival of 10,000 additional security forces to the state, Madhav said that “there is no need to create an atmosphere of discomfort for the people as such drives are a routine exercises. Security forces coming here and going back is a continuous process and shouldn’t be linked with any political step,” he said. “For Amarnath Yatra, additional forces were supposed to be deployed. They would go back and more would come. So it is a continuous process.”
He said that some regional were resorting to rumour mongering and creating a sense of alienation and fear among people only to gain political mileage. “It is because of the Centre’s decision to go tough against the corrupt and no matter how big a person involved in the corrupt practice would be, action will follow in any case,” Madhav said.
He said over the past one year, security grid with the active support of Centre has managed to contain the militancy. “Now the state and the security forces will go after the over ground workers. This issue is almost three-decade old and it’s not a one day job to end militancy even though our mission is to wipe out not only militants but militancy too from Kashmir soil,” he said.
On whether BJP was ready for Assembly elections, he said that “the party will contest on all 87 seats across the state. At the same time, we would want to see youth, individuals and other independent candidates to come forward and contest polls in Kashmir so that the state gets rid of the dynasty rule that has ruined J&K since decades. We want an independent force to emerge against family rule in Kashmir,” he said. “Thousands of crores have been sent by New Delhi to J&K for developmental works so far, but all that money has gone down the drain. There has been a rampant corruption in the State.”
He said BJP strongly advocates elections for blocks so that three-tier Panchayati Raj system evolves in the state. “There is a system across the country where there is block level, Gram level and district level Panchayati Raj institutions for the development of villages and districts. The BJP stands for same in the J&K,” Madhav said.
He said that BJP is fast emerging as a best choice for the people, a full unit of Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), Congress leaders and workers including some female, a large number of youth from far off districts and leaders and activists from various political parties joined the party. “People with clean history of past, zeal to work for the development and peace are always welcome into the BJP fold,” he said.
Earlier, Madhav had welcomed the new entrants into the party fold in a separate function at SKICC here.