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BJP fuelling tension in Jammu, says Azad
August 05, 2008 19:21 IST
Accusing the Bharatiya Janata Party leadership of fuelling tensions in violence-hit Jammu, former Jammu and Kashmir [Images] Chief Minister Ghulam [Images] Nabi Azad said on Tuesday that political parties were playing vote bank politics with assembly elections in mind.
Azad also said the parties should not cross the Lakshman Rekha [Images] in fulfilling their vested interests at the cost of people's lives.
Speaking on the recent developments in Jammu, which has been engulfed in violence over the land transfer row to the Amarnath Shrine board, Azad said "No political party is presenting a clear picture and every one is playing vote bank politics at the cost of human lives."
"What we fail to understand what made BJP central leadership to fuel the fire in Jammu. Only because of elections slated in the state. It is most unfortunate that a political party claiming to form government at national level should play with the sentiments of people to meet their political ends," Azad told PTI on the eve of an All Party meeting convened by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images].
"This attitude on the part of BJP's central leadership is not understandable. Elections will come and go, political parties will come and go but no political party should cross the Lakshaman Rekha to meet their political goals at the cost of unity of the state and country," he said.
Asked what the BJP's role was in such communally sensitive situations throughout the country, Azad said the basic difference between Congress and BJP is that Congress did not exploit the situation for vested interests.
"Our leaders go to any similar situation with a fire brigade to douse the fire whereas the BJP spares no effort to fuel the fire," Azad said.
Azad said the sentiments of Hindus as well as Muslims should be respected.
"Hindu sentiments are as important as Muslim sentiments. Nobody should say when we respect Muslim sentiments, they are genuine and when Hindu sentiments are hurt, they are communal," Azad said.
Going back to the land transfer row, Azad wondered as why there was so much of a disinformation campaign going on in the entire state.
"The state Cabinet took these orders to make Hindu community throughout the country happy because it had much more to offer to the pilgrims than the Shrine board.In the earlier cabinet decision to divert the land to the Sri Amarnath Shrine Board, they had to make pre-fabricated infrastructure only at two places whereas as per the second order such facilities would be created all along from Jammu to the cave shrine -- nearly 400 kilometres," Azad said.
The state government had asked the tourism department to make necessary budgetary provisions in the next budget in this regard, Azad said and added no one was highlighting the fact that a complex worth Rs six crore was completed in Jammu in a record time of four months for Amarnath pilgrims.
The former chief minister also objected to certain quarters in some political parties terming Muslims in Kashmir valley as communal: "The Muslims of Kashmir are totally secular. There may be different voices but they are not communal. It is unfortunate that religious sentiments have been exploited by religious leaders for the past 60 years."
"Many leaders emerged at the cost of exploiting people's religious sentiments during the agitation over the temporary diversion of land to SASB," Azad said
"No political party came and spoke out the fact that the ownership of land squarely wrested with the state Government and that the Board was supposed to create pre-fabricated infrastructure -- only during the pilgrimage period and dismantle them again for the rest of the year which means hardly anything," Azad said.
"But some political parties spread the disinformation in the length and breadth of the valley that thousands of flats would be constructed on the land for yatris and in the next four to five years, the demography of the state would change. This disinformation spread like a wild fire across the valley and the political parties instead of talking truth to the people, joined and became a part of disinformation," Azad said.