Hurriyat cannot dictate terms on talks: Madhav

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 7/9/2019 12:22:38 PM

`Awaiting EC call on J&K assembly polls’

JAMMU, Jul 8: BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav Monday said the Hurriyat Conference cannot dictate terms on talks with the Centre and asserted that those “supporting terrorism and separatism would not be entertained by the government.”
With regard to assembly polls in J&K, he stated that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was fully prepared for the polls and was awaiting the decision of Election Commission.
While addressing media after welcoming a prominent Congress leader Iqbal Malik from Darhal, Rajouri besides other in the party fold, Madhav also reiterated his party's resolve to abrogate Article 370 and Article 35A of the Constitution, which grant special status to the state, while expressing hope that the BJP would form the next government in the state with the help of “its friends.” BJP national general secretary brushed aside the criticism of former Chief Ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti on Highway restrictions in the wake of Amarnath Yatra stating that they were necessary to ensure security of pilgrims.
Replying to a question about PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti advocating dialogue with the Hurriyat, Madhav said, “The Hurriyat is not in a position to dictate to the government of India when to hold talks or when not to.” He said the then Home Minister Rajnath Singh had made an offer to them to talk about two years ago and Dineshwar Sharma was appointed as a special interlocutor for engaging all sections of the people of the Kashmir valley. “At that time, the Hurriyat was not willing to come forward to talk. They cannot decide and dictate terms, time and everything to the Government of India,” he said.
“As far as we are concerned, it is the prerogative and decision of the Union Home Ministry. Those who are against the constitution of India and those who are in support of terrorists and propagate separatism shall not be entertained. That is the view of our party,” Madhav said.
On abrogation of Article 370 and 35-A, he said, “You all know the BJP's ideological stand on these articles. It is clear that we want these to be abrogated.” “The process to do away with these articles will be set in motion. The Supreme Court is already hearing a petition on Article 35A, which was inserted in the constitutions illegally and is expected to take a decision on its revocation,” he said. “The decision of the Court is still pending but modalities can be looked into how it can be revoked. One thing is clear that these are “illegal” and has to go from J&K,” he said.
Madhav said the Centre was focused on ensuring equitable development of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh regions and wiping out terrorism with strong hand. He said the government would take appropriate action against those supporting terrorism through overground activities, whether it is the Hurriyat, the JKLF or any other outfit. “We are happy that the centre and state administration is taking stern action in this direction,” he said.
The BJP leader also defended the partial restriction on the movement of civilian traffic on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway, saying the administration took this step to ensure smooth conduct of the Amarnath Yatra. He appealed to mainstream political parties to extend their support to the governor's administration to ensure peaceful conclusion of the 46-day yatra. The authorities have barred civilian traffic on the Qazigund-Nashri stretch of the highway for five-and-a-half hours, from 10 AM to 3:30 PM, in order to allow incident-free passage to vehicles carrying Amarnath pilgrims.
The decision drew protests from the National Conference, PDP and CPI(M), besides other stakeholders, especially those affiliated with tourism industry.
Asked about ex-Chief Ministers Omar Abdullah's statement that imposing traffic restrictions for safe passage of pilgrims shows “incompetence and laziness” of the state administration, Madhav quipped, “We have seen a lot of incompetence on the part of Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah governments in the past.” “It is no incompetency," he said. “It is a very competent way of ensuring peaceful and successful completion of the yatra. Better for all these leaders that rather than criticising the government and accusing the administration, they help the administration and the government in successful completion of the yatra,” he said. “I am sure Mehbooba Mufti and her people will also help the administration in allowing the yatra peacefully.”
To a question about assembly election in the state, Madhav said the BJP was hopeful of state polls taking place this year only after the successful conclusion of local bodies, panchayat and parliamentary elections. “We are for the assembly polls and are requesting the Election Commission to take a decision. We are fully prepared for the polls and are awaiting EC decision,” he said. He said, “We have full faith that the people of the state will support the BJP which wants equitable development of all the three regions of the state.” The BJP leader said Prime Minister Narendra Modi's policies and developmental pledge was attracting people, especially the minorities, towards the party. “We have also managed a strong presence in Kashmir where we won 200 sarpanch and panch seats and 100 Councillor seats in the local bodies and Panchayat elections. More people are coming forward and joining the party,” he said.
With regard to Karnataka developments, he said that BJP had no involvement in the political crisis there. Madhav said that the current situation was due to infighting in the Congress-JD(S) coalition government. “'Ulta chor kotwal ko dante (It is a case of thief accusing the policeman). Whatever is happening in the Karnataka is happening because of the ambitions of certain leaders of their own party. There are leaders who are engineering dissent in their party. BJP has no involvement. We are just watching,” he said when asked about the Congress blaming BJP for the political crisis in the state.
“The Congress-JD(S) coalition was against the wishes of people. Their infighting has created this issue," the BJP national general secretary added.



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