Congress Asks Centre to Articulate J&K Policy in Clear Terms


New Delhi: Terming the statement by Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti after her meeting with Prime Minister Narendra modi as a severe indictment of the NDA government’s lack of policy towards the state, the Congress today asked the Centre to articulate its policy towards Jammu and kashmir in clear terms.

Addressing  reporters here, AICC spokesperson Manish Tewari said,”Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti met the PM today. Though we heard nothing from the PM or PMO about the meeting, one remark by the CM summed up the essence of the meeting.

After the meeting, the Jammu and Kashmir CM said, ”We are where Mr (Atal Bihari)Vajpayee had left us. There could not be a more damning indictment of a complete lack of policy by the Centre in Jammu and Kashmir. We would request the NDA government that it is high time that it articulated its policy on Jammu and Kashmir in clear terms.  It is the responsibility of the government to make its policy clear”.

Describing the deterioration of the situation in the state as a reflection of a complete lack of policy by the Centre on Jammu and kashmir, Mr Tewari said, ”There is a complete absence of a policy for Jammu and Kashmir. Nothing evidences this more than the poor turnout in the Srinagar bypoll, the postponement of the  bypoll in Anantnag, the increasing tension on the India-Pak border, the fragile internal security situation in the Kashmir valley  and the deepening contradictions between the BJP and PDP alliance .

”Even in the worst phase of militance, between 1989-1996, poll percentage for Assembly elections was 53.92 per cent. In 2002 , when the NDA was in power at the Centre, it was 43.7 per cent. In 2008, when the UPA was in power, it was 61.16 per cent while in 2014, it rose to 65 per cent, which fell to 7 per cent in the recent bypoll.

”The Prime Minister should ask himself as to what has gone wrong between 2014 and 2017.”

Drawing comparisons between the situation in the Valley during the National Conference and the Congress alliance government in the state with that during the present BJP-PDP government, Mr Tewari said, ”During the rule of the alliance government between the National Conference and the Congress, the LoC was relatively stable, the internal security situation remained relatively normal, the interlocutor process was put in place by the then UPA government at the Centre. Further, all-round development  was the prevailing mantra at that time.

In fact, many projects which the PM recently inaugurated were conceived and significantly implemented in those six years when there was a UPA government at the the Centre and a National Conference-Congress Government in Jammu and Kashmir.

”In contrast, the way in which the BJP-PDP government in the state and the NDA government at the Centre has handled Jammu and Kashmir is detrimental to the cause of National security and integrity.”

To another question on the recent incidents of violence against students from Jammu and Kashmir across the country, Mr Tewari said,”These are all manifestations of a lack of policy of the present government towards Jammu and Kashmir.’’

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