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BJP ready for J&K polls, but will wait for EC nod

By Anuj Cariappa

New Delhi, June 29: Minister of State in Prime Minister's Office Jitendra Singh said BJP was ready for assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir and the final decision on the matter will be taken by the Elections Commission after considering security related issues.

Participating in the debate on a Resolution seeking Lok Sabha's approval to extend president's rule in J&K for another six months, Singh said the BJP is a party with difference and unlike other parties, BJP workers remain active throughout the year.

File photo of Jitendra Singh

"Some political parties accuse the BJP that it does not want assembly elections in J&K...We respect the Election Commission and CBI. It was the decision of the EC to not conduct assembly elections now in J&K due to security related issues," he said.

Amit Shah blames Nehru, Congress for Kashmir problem, hits out at dynastic politics

The Minister further pointed out that BJP cadres work throughout the year, unlike other parties, in which workers get active only during elections time.

He said that those parties which did not participate in the Panchayat and Municipal eletions in J&K are talking about automony of the state.

Singh also opined that if India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had allowed Vallabhai Patel to handle the J&K situation, the history of the state would have been different.

"Nehru thought that he knew J&K better than Patel....Otherwise the history of J&K would have been different," he said.

Singh also accused leaders of the National Conference (NC) of political opportunism.

Claiming that militancy was on its way out, Singh said that "we are going through the last phase of militancy in Kashmir. You note this and after few months we will again deliberate on this.

"I am making a serious allegation before I conclude and I have no hesitation to do so. There is a vested interest in Kashmir in the continuation of militancy," he said.

The intellectual terrorism, he said, is causing as much harm as the terrorist with the gun.

Stating that BJP has invested heavily in Kashmir, he said that the only silver lining in the state is the youth of Kashmir.

Amit Shah seeks 6-month extension of President's Rule in J&K; says polls by year end

"The youth of Kashmir has moved on...We (BJP) have invested heavily in Kashmir," he stessed.

"Terrorist is a terrorist and that is the bottomline. Let us leave it to the discretion and wisdom of the security agencies to decide to how to deal with it," he said.

"Those who seek the aid of terrorism for political gains are liable to be consumed by the same terrorist," he warned.

Also participating in he debate Poonam Mahajan (BJP) said that India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru committed historical blunder by taking Kashmir issue to the United Nations.

Mahajan further said that for the first time in recent memory there was no protest or curfew when home minister Amit Shah visited Kashmir two days ago.

"Kashmiri Pundits are getting respect under Modi government... Due to previous government's appeasement policy, the youth of the country was not able to connect themselves to India," she said.

Recalling that Modi as the organisation secretary of BJP had hoisted the Indian flag at Lal Srinagar's Lal Chowk, Mahajan said,"Kashmir will be heaven only under the Modi government."

Hasnain Masoodi (NC) said that from 1951, brick by brick, autonomy of J&K was demolished by the successive Union governments.

Masoodi also urged the government to conduct assembly elections in J&K without any delay.

Rahul Shewale (Shiv Sena) said Congress doesn't want to solve the problem of Kashmir.

Danish Ali (BSP) said that "in order to expand our political base we are deviating from the real issues of J&K."

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