Srinagar, Apr 20: Opposition National Conference Thursday condemned the controversial and “communally-loaded” statement of Industries Minister Chandra Prakash Ganga and demanded his resignation.
While calling the comments unfortunate and uncalled for, NC workers took out a protest march from party headquarters and also burnt the effigy of BJP minister outside TRC Srinagar.
Chanting slogans against Ganga and the coalition government, NC and Youth NC protestors started marching towards commercial hub Lal Chowk but were intercepted by a heavy contingent of police at TRC Srinagar.
Addressing the gathering, NC leaders said, “Such use of terminology by a responsible minister in the Mehbooba Mufti-led government is very unfortunate and reeks of the communal mindset prevalent among those who are supposed to be guardians of the society.”
While demanding Ganga’s resignation from the cabinet, Salman Sagar said, “It is highly shameful that no one from the government or from PDP has spoken against such rabid comments. It shows the seriousness and the priorities of this government. The whole valley is going through a very volatile phase. Instead of de-escalating the situation, every effort is being made to escalate the situation in Kashmir. This is condemnable and will be resisted peacefully.”
NC provincial president Nasir Aslam Wani said it was “highly shameful” that police “manhandled our peaceful march” and did not allow the protestors to move further.
“This act of police exposes the tall claims of PDP-BJP government of giving space to peaceful protests. When a major mainstream political party is treated like this, what can be expected from the administration when it comes to handling protests by students and others?” he asked while alleging that the rule of law is completely missing on ground and there is no semblance of government anywhere.
About the BJP minister’s remarks, NC’s provincial spokesperson Imran Nabi Dar castigated the present dispensation for maintaining a “criminal silence”.
“For the sake of power, Mehbooba Mufti has sold her conscious and has given in to the arm-pulling of its coalition partner, the right-wing BJP. In all this she has forgotten even those who have voted her to power,” he said adding “time will come when she will have to pay a heavy price for siding with those who are openly calling for murder of Kashmiris.”