Thursday, March 19, 2015

Amit Shah likens BJP to Lord Shiva, says no compromise on Kashmir

By Our Representative
BJP president and right-hand of Prime Minister Narendra Modi Amit Shah has raked up yet another controversy by likening his party, BJP, with Lord Shiva. Speaking on political situation in Jammu & Kashmir (J&K), Shah told party workers in Ahmedabad that people had blessed BJP "like Lord Shiva and given us very big responsibility", hence it would not "compromise on the national interest."
The statement invoking the BJP's role as Lord Shiva comes amidst raging controversy on the J&K alleged pro-separatist stance, as reflected in release of Masarat Alam by the government in which the BJP is a partner.
Shah went so far as to tell the party workers that the BJP would "end" its alliance with the People's Democratic Party (PDP) in J&K if the "Kashmir issue" was not solved. He was speaking before BJP workers in the his constituency, Naranpura, Ahmedabad, on Tuesday.
Shah said, the J&K government had been formed "only to solve the Kashmir issue, and I have full trust that we will find a solution", adding, "If the solution of Kashmir issue does not come about, then nobody can stop our party workers from leaving the coalition government."
Shah's "statement" is being seen more as an effort to appease the BJP workers, many of whom are said to be of the view that the alliance with the PDP was "eroding" the party's base in the majority community.
Shah said, BJP workers should "go to the people" in order to "spread the message that the party would not compromise on national interest". Interestingly, he did not clarify what these "national interests" were and how these would be implemented.
Suspecting that Shah's statement might might create ripple, with the possibility that the partner, PDP, might retaliate, the BJP fielded a Gujarat spokesperson to tell newspersons that "Shah merely said that national interest is the party's priority" but wasn't "categorical" about breaking the BJP's alliance with the PDP.
"Shah just said that national interest is our priority and BJP will not allow any anti-national activities on the soil of Jammu and Kashmir," the spokesman said.
Already, the PDP's release of the separatist leader Alam has invited opposition ire. J&K government has so far slapped the draconian Public Safety Act (PSA) against Alam 17 times since 1990. Alam is widely regarded as the "instigator" of the 2010 protests in the valley in which over 120 boys were killed.
Shah's statement comes close on the heels of the J&K alliance partners PDP backing the move of a group of MLAs who are insisting on handing over the remains of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru to his Kashmir-based family.
The PDP MLAs in a joint statement said that "PDP has always maintained that late Afzal Guru's hanging was travesty of justice and constitutional requirements/process was not followed in hanging him out of turn."

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