Hurriyat Not in Position to Dictate Terms for Talks: Madhav


SRINAGAR — BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav on Monday said the Hurriyat Conference cannot dictate terms on talks with the Centre and asserted that those supporting militancy and separatism would not be entertained by the government.

Addressing a press conference in Jammu, said that his party was appealing to the Election Commission of India to hold assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir by the end of this year.

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 told reporters here.

“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.

He 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 will form the next government in the state with the help of its friends.

“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.

He said the Centre is focused on ensuring equitable development of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh regions and wiping out terrorism with strong hand.

He said the government will take appropriate action against those supporting militancy 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.”

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-CM 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 is 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 is 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.

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