PDP asks minister to change poisonous mindset; BJP plays down remarks
Srinagar, Apr 20: The ruling PDP today hit out at Industries Minister (from alliance partner BJP) Chander Prakash Ganga, over his reported remarks that bullets should be used on stone-pelters, terming it a "conspiracy" to keep the pot boiling in the Valley.
Strongly condemning, what he termed the “grossly insensitive remarks” of senior BJP leader and Minister for Industries, Chander Parkash Ganga, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) vice-president, Mohammad Sartaj Madni today said that such disgusting utterances are not only unjustifiable but perilous as well.
“It is unbecoming of a senior minister to dish out such a sweeping, sickening and intimidating statement against the Kashmiri youth,” Madni said in a statement issued here today.
Madni said the statement of Ganga is also in contravention to the stand of the state cabinet on the issue which in its meeting held in Jammu on April 18, expressed deep anguish over the loss of lives in the Valley and directed the security agencies to exercise maximum restraint while handling law and order situations to prevent loss of lives.
He said instead of reaching out to the distressed and alienated Kashmiri youth and address their concerns, the hawkish rhetoric of such “fringe elements” has the danger of further adding to the alienation of the people and impeding the government’s efforts of restoring peace and calm in the Valley.
“Late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed had entered into an alliance with the BJP only with the objective of bridging the gulf between the people of different regions the state and taking Jammu and Kashmir to new heights of inclusive development and prosperity,” he said and added that unfortunately the unwarranted statements of such fringe elements are negating the basic philosophy of this alliance.
“Instead of bringing the people together, such insidious statements are unfortunately only going to add to the void,” he said and added that a responsible government functionary can’t be seen pitching himself against own people.
“We hope that good sense will prevail and the BJP leadership will take serious note of such uncalled-for statement from a senior minister of the party,” he said and added that instead of provoking the situation in Kashmir, all the right-thinking people should try to find a way out of the present impasse by engaging with all sections of the society in Jammu and Kashmir.
In a separate statement, senior PDP leader Peerzada Mansoor said "such detestable remarks not only reflect the nauseous mentality of some extremist politicians in the state, but also expose the larger design of certain elements to provoke fresh trouble in Kashmir so that Kashmiris are pushed into perpetual educational and economic disempowerment,".
He said such provocative utterances "smack of a larger conspiracy" to keep the pot boiling in Kashmir.
Ganga, who is the industries minister in the PDP-BJP coalition government, had reportedly called stone-pelters as traitors.
"There is only one remedy for them and that is bullets. And if not bullets, they should be given punishments like the youths who are beaten with sticks by forces. Take my word that next time they (the youth) won't throw stones," he was quoted as saying by the local media.
Mansoor said the BJP leaders should understand that any devious effort to flare up passions in Kashmir would end up in spreading the poison of hatred across the length and breadth of the state and put it on fire.
"Such an undesirable situation would serve nobody's purpose except bringing destruction to the state and its people," he said, adding it is because of the lunacies of the same breed of politicians that the Kashmir situation has reached such an impasse today.
BJP’s Ram Madhav criticised the controversial statement made by a state minister calling for "bullets against stones" and said politicians should leave these matters to security forces.
Instead of indulging in ludicrous rhetoric, the political leadership, both in New Delhi and within the state, should work through tangible measures towards resolution of the issues to ensure peace and stability in Jammu and Kashmir, he added.
Mansoor said the Centre must engage with the people of the state to find a lasting solution to the issue.
"The Centre must address issues concerning J&K with a sense of urgency, sincerity and seriousness by resuming the dialogue process not only with Pakistan but with all the stakeholders, within the state as well, including the separatists," he said.
“We hope the Government of India will take necessary measures to address the causes of alienation and trust-deficit in Kashmir and work towards finding a long-lasting solution to the problem plaguing the region for the past more than six decades,” he added.
Meanwhile, instead of taking serious note of its minister Chandra Prakash Ganga’s remarks about Kashmiri youth, BJP today counseled the coalition partner PDP to “not go into these remarks”.
“BJP always wants development and progress of the Jammu and Kashmir. We want youth of Kashmir not be provoked by Pak-sponsored agitations. Instead, youth should utilize their energy in positive direction and for development of the state,” Ashok Kaul, BJP’s general secretary (Organisation), was quoted as saying by the local news agency KNS.
“The minister’s statement may have been twisted by the media, or it is slip of tongue. Our coalition partner should brush aside such remarks. And these statements won’t make any difference in running the government,” Koul said.