Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Hindu : News / National : Interlocutors' suggestion will “hurt national integration”

The Hindu : News / National : Interlocutors' suggestion will “hurt national integration”

BJP, Panthers oppose changing nomenclature of Governor, CM

Bhartiya Janata Party and National Panthers Party members on Thursday protested in the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly the interlocutors' reported move to recommend political concessions to the State.

Panthers Party leader Harsh Dev Singh, raising the matter during zero hour, said the reported recommendation that the nomenclature of Governor be changed as ‘Sadr-e-Riyasat' and that of Chief Minister as ‘Wazir-e-Azam' “is a plot to project to the outside world that Jammu and Kashmir is a separate sovereign country.” The BJP members supported Mr. Singh, shouting Ek Pradhan, Ek Vidhan, Ek Nishan (one chief, one constitution and one flag). They later walked out, warning the Centre of “dire consequences” if it went ahead with the recommendation.

Talking to journalists later, Mr. Singh said such a recommendation might satisfy the ego of a particular person, but would not contribute to peace in the State; on the contrary, it would prove prejudicial to national integration. “The panel of interlocutors — Dileep Padgaonkar, Radha Kumar and M.M. Ansari — has been told in advance that its report should not violate the Constitution. We will strongly oppose it.”

Senior BJP leader Ashok Khajuria said the interlocutors were crossing their limits. “The government of India is watching it like a mute spectator. The BJP will oppose any such move aimed at weakening Centre-State relations. Do-Pradhan, Do-Nishan and Do-Vidhan will never be allowed by the BJP in Jammu and Kashmir. We cannot go 50 years back.”

Mr. Khajuria alleged that the People's Democratic Party and the National Conference were trying to score points, thus stoking “fundamentalism” further. “We will go to the people's court to counter such policies.”

Jammu State Morcha MLA Ashwani Kumar, who also walked out of the Assembly, said that since their first visit to the Kashmir Valley the interlocutors had touched on sensitive issues. “Initially, they said Pakistan was a party to the [Kashmir] issue, and later termed the State a dispute. Since then, we have boycotted them.”

But PDP MLA Nizamuddin Bhat welcomed the interlocutors' recommendation. They were answerable only to the Union government which appointed them. “No one has the right to challenge their recommendation until it is made public officially. Right now, it is between the Central government and the panel [of interlocutors].”

Keywords: Jammu and Kashmir, Interlocutors, national integration, BJP, Panthers Party

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