Modi sent emissaries to create 'soft corner', claims Geelani

Posted By: PTI
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Srinagar, Apr 18: Hardline Hurriyat Conference chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani on Friday claimed that BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi had sent emissaries to him and separatist leadership in Jammu and Kashmir to create a "soft corner" for him by making a "commitment" to seek a solution to Kashmir issue.

However, he said he has no hopes on Modi developing a "soft" policy on Jammu and Kashmir and rejected their plea for talks with him. "Modi has started a campaign and is approaching people here.

They have contacted the resistance leadership including myself which is indicative that he is trying to create a soft corner for himself within the freedom camp," he told reporters at his Hyderpora residence here. Geelani, who was placed under house arrest immediately after his return from Delhi on Wednesday, said two Kashmiri Pandits came to him as Modi's emissaries on March 22 and asked him to talk to Modi "directly or indirectly" for a "commitment on Kashmir issue".

"They told me that Modi is going to be the next Prime Minister of the country and you talk to him directly or indirectly to get a commitment from him on Kashmir issue.

"However, I rejected their offer straightway," he said adding "I told them that Modi is a RSS man and the torch bearer of its ideology. And being the leader of BJP, he will not adopt a realistic policy on Kashmir."

Geelani said he told the duo that Modi was Chief Minister of Gujarat when innocent Muslims were killed in that state in 2002. "We have no hope that Modi will adopt a soft approach towards Kashmir and pursue a realistic policy... He was only trying to create a soft corner for himself within the separatist camp," the Hurriyat hawk said.

Without naming any one, Geelani said those leaders, who feel that Modi would be soft towards Kashmir if he becomes Prime Minister, have actually met BJP Prime Ministerial candidate's men in Kashmir."

Defending his election boycott call, Geelani said the people have a right to stay away from polls just like they have the right to vote.

"For the past 66 years, India has been holding elections in Jammu and Kashmir at gun point and is actually exploiting the voting process in its favour internationally," he said and condemned a "crackdown" on the separatist leaders ahead of the polls in Kashmir.

He appealed to the people to observe a complete shutdown on April 21 against the random arrest and curbs on separatist leaders.

Geelani also called for "civil curfew" on April 24, 30 and May 7 when the voting will be held for three Lok Sabha constituencies of Anantnag, Srinagar and Baramulla, respectively.


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