Union minister Jitendra Singh calls J&K politicians dangerous than separatists, PDP seeks clarification

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Wahid Bhat | New Delhi

Union minister and senior BJP leader Jitendra Singh has stoked a new controversy in Jammu & Kashmir by calling the mainstream politicians of the state to be more ‘dangerous’ than separatist leaders whose stand is relatively predictable.

Addressing a seminar in Jammu on Sunday, Jitendra Singh said, “Mainstream political parties of Kashmir are more dangerous than separatist leaders because the stand of separatists is relatively predictable but that of these mainstream politicians is absolutely unpredictable and subject to variations depending upon the political expediency of the situation”.

He alleged that while separatists are separatists only by convenience and not by conviction, the so-called mainstream leaders alternately switch sides by convenience.

Coming down heavily on what he described as “selective” condemnation of human rights violation, Singh said, “The Kashmir-centric political parties are quick to point fingers at a security person even on the basis of unsubstantiated charges because they know, there will be no risk of retaliation, since the soldier is bound to follow a certain discipline.

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In June, the BJP pulled out of the alliance it shared with the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in J-K. In its press conference, the BJP, through its national general secretary Ram Madhav, had explained what forced its hand. Madhav had said, “Keeping in mind the larger interest of India’s security and integrity, the fact is that J&K is an integral part of India, in order to bring control over the situation prevailing in the state we have decided that the reigns of power in the state be handed over to the Governor.”

Reacting to the comments, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Monday asked BJP to explain why it ignored its 25 MLAs and selected a CM candidate from Kashmir who has barely two seats in the assembly.

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Former minister and senior PDP leader Naeem Akhtar questioned Dr Jitendra Singh’s assertions, asking that if there was such a lack of trust in other parties of the state, the BJP should have selected its own CM candidate from the party itself. “Why were you (Jitendra Singh) or Kulvinder Gupta or any other BJP leader not chosen as CM candidate of the party from the state. How can you people convince your own voters after such a decision has been taken by your party,” Akhtar asked.

Akhtar further said that BJP has got a unifocal agenda which thrives on hate and promotes tensions and that the party has got unnerved due to the recent developments in Kashmir’s political landscape that unfolded new possibilities and eroded BJP’s blackmailing position. “As elections are in the offing, the BJP is making strenuous efforts to polarize the situation in Jammu and Kashmir as the party has nothing to show to its voters on developmental front. However, people are now well aware about the way in which BJP functions and how the party cares least about the national interest and state’s integrity while fulfilling its own agendas,” Akhtar said.