Mystery still surrounded the claim by Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani that Narendra Modi had sent two emissaries to him carrying a message with a Lok Janshakti Party leader whose named surfaced maintaining today he met him but not as an emissary.
Sanjay Saraf, who belongs to Ram Vilas Paswan's LJP hat is part of the National Democratic Alliance, confirmed that he had met Geelani but dismissed reports that he had carried any message from the Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate to the hardline Hurriyat leader.
LJP National Youth president Saraf said his relations with the separatist leader were "personal".
"I have been meeting Geelani for the past so many years. I have not met him in the context that has been reported," Saraf told PTI in Srinagar. Saraf said he rushed to Srinagar from Bihar after he was named as one of the emissaries of Modi that Geelani claimed had called on him for opening a dialogue with the BJP leader.
This is a completely baseless report. I have not met Geelani since he was taken to Delhi for treatment in early March this year," he said. Asked about media reports identifying him as one of the two emissaries, Saraf said he was exploring legal options against a daily which carried the report for "spreading falsehood and dragging my name into something that I was never part of".
Geelani on Friday claimed that Modi had sent two emissaries to him and the separatist leadership in Jammu and Kashmir to create a "soft corner" for BJP by making a "commitment" to seek a solution to Kashmir issue.
Geelani has not named the emissaries so far. The meeting allegedly took place in Delhi on March 22. The separatist leader also claimed that the emissaries had called on other separatist leaders who were now pinning hopes with the NDA coming to power for resolution of Kashmir issue.
Rubbishing Geelani's claims, senior BJP leader Lalji Tandon said tat Modi did not send any emissary to anyone, calling his remark as unfortunate. "Geelani comes across as if Geelani is wearing the Congress mask," he said, adding, "whenever the time comes, Modi and BJP will talk about the Kashmir issue."
Congress leader Rashid Alvi said truth should come out. LJP leader Ramvilas Paswan said Kashmir issue is a "serious" matter and it is discussed during meetings between leaders of BJP and his party with the separatists.
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Saturday questioned the secrecy behind the move and asked the hardline separatist leader to identify the pointsmen to establish who was "lying".