Quoting Mehbooba Mufti’s remark that ‘we are where Shri Vajpayee left us’, Congress leader Manish Tiwari said ‘there could not have been a stronger indictment of a complete lack of policy which the NDA-BJP Government and the Prime Minister have as far as the situation in J&K is concerned
Abdul Bari Masoud | Caravan Daily
NEW DELHI — While urging the BJP-led NDA government to spell out its policy on Jammu and Kashmir in public, the Congress party Monday said Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s remark that ‘we are where Atal Bihari Vajpayee left us’ is a most damning indictment of the policy of the present government. The party also asked the PM to ponder over what has gone wrong between 2014 and 2017 as the situation has gone from bad to worse.
Reacting to Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, former Union Minister and spokesperson Manish Tiwari told mediapersons here at the party headquarters that neither the PM nor the PMO said anything about the meeting as to what transpired between the two leaders and what the plan of the government is to bring back normalcy in the state.
‘The Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir met the Prime Minister today. After the meeting we heard from the Chief Minister of J&K but of course, we heard nothing either from the Prime Minister or the PMO.”
Tiwari said the one remark made by the J&K CM during her brief interaction with the Press possibly summed up the entire essence of the meeting with the Prime Minister better than anything else.
Quoting Mehbooba Mufti’s remark that ‘we are where Shri Vajpayee left us’, Congress leader said ‘there could not have been a stronger indictment of a complete lack of policy which the NDA-BJP Government and the Prime Minister have as far as the situation in J&K is concerned. Nothing evidences this more than the extremely poor turnout in the Srinagar by poll.’
He pointed out that the postponement of the parliamentary bye-poll in Anantnag, the continuing tension on the Indo-Pakistan border, the fragile internal security situation in the Kashmir Valley and the ever increasing and deepening contradictions between the BJP-PDP alliance Government are manifestations of the incoherent policy on Kashmir.
When this correspondent asked what policy on Kashmir the party is seeking from the Modi government, Tiwari quipped that the manner in which the BJP-led NDA Government at the Center and the PDP-BJP Government in the State have handled the Kashmir situation is completely detrimental to both the cause of national security as also national integration and adding that people are seeing the manifestations of this fallacious policy play itself out in other parts of India as well.
He pointed out that when the NC-Congress had a government in J&K, the LoC remained relatively stable all through that period while the internal security situation barring a few months in 2010 remained relatively normal.
When asked about the Congress’ take on former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah’s suggestion of talking to all stakeholders of the Kashmir problem, Tiwari said Farooq Abdullah was a three-time chief minister of the State and a Union Minister for long time, so the government should heed his advice.
When the Congress leader’s attention was drawn towards the posters against Kashmiri people in Meerut (UP) and attacks on Kashmiri students, he said this government has no policy on Kashmir that is the main reason behind this and with it political ideology, the government has given free hand to anti-social elements and groups attached to it.
Commenting on the recent bye-election in the State, he said: “In 2008, when there was a UPA Government at the Center, the poll percentage went up to 61.16%. In 2014, when you had an NDA-BJP Government in the Center, it was even better at 65.52% and then in the bye election of 2017, it falls to a mere 7%. When a re-poll is ordered in some of the booths, the voter turnout is a mere 2%. So Prime Minister Modi should ask himself this question that what has gone wrong between 2014 and 2017 that a mere 7% people turned out to vote”.
Since it is a sensitive issue, Tiwari said he was deliberately refraining from using the word ‘demand’, that it is high time that the Government of India reviewed its policy towards the situation in Kashmir in clear terms.