Centre to take decision on issuing passport to Geelani: BJP

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Jammu, May 21:  Asserting that there was "no difference" with its ally PDP over issuance of passport to Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani, BJP on Thursday said a decision on the matter would be taken by the Centre keeping in view security aspects.

"The decision to issue passport to him (Geelani) will be taken (by the Centre) keeping in view all security aspects of it," BJP state president and Jammu MP Jugal Kishore Sharma told reporters here today.

Also read: Geelani's passport: Deal with the real issue instead

Geelani passport issue hits BJP-PDP

Asked about the stand of its ally PDP on the issuance of passport to Geelani who wants to visit his ailing daughter in Saudi Arabia, the BJP leader said there was "no difference" on the issue and that both the partners were on the same page.

"There is no difference on the issue. We are on the same page on the issue," Sharma said.

He said BJP has not softened its stand on anti-national activities and whosoever is found indulging in anti-national activities would be dealt strictly.

Reacting to the statement of Jammu and Kashmir Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu that Goods and Service Taxes (GST) would not be implemented in the state, Sharma said there might be some misunderstanding and that the issue would be discussed between the state and the Centre.

On the issue of shifting of AIIMS from Jammu to Kashmir, he said that his party welcomes setting up of AIIMS in Kashmir but said that a similar institution should also be established in Jammu region.

We are on the same page on the issue, says BJP

"We welcome setting up of AIIMS in Kashmir, but we want to assure you that Jammu too would get an AIIMS and the people who are doing politics should not play with the sentiments of the people," Sharma said.

Also read: Hoisting of Pak flags in J&K: CM Mufti promises action against Geelani

Sharma said the artificial lake project on the Tawi river in Jammu has not be shelved and that it would be completed. "Fund were misused by previous governments and we will hold an enquiry into it. How the design was changed? We want to assure the people of Jammu that the project will be completed," he said.

Sharma said the central government has increased the monthly salary of more than 25,000 special police officers in Jammu and Kashmir from Rs 3,000 to Rs 6,000.

"This was a long pending demand of SPOs and now the central government has doubled their salary from Rs 3,000 to Rs 6,000," he said.

PTI

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