Date: 22 Jan 2010

Comment Gadkari: BJP will not allow Kashmir autonomy////////////////// Faraz Ahmad////////////// Tribune News Service ///////////// New Delhi, January 19///////////// The BJP will never allow autonomy of Kashmir, asserted its president Nitin Gadkari here today. Gadkari was addressing members of Panun Kashmir at a function organised by the Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Research Foundation to commemorate fleeing of Kashmiri pandits from the Valley on January 19, 1990. This was also the first public address of the new president of the BJP. /////////////// He also declared that his party would adopt a resolution in its national council meeting slated to be held in Indore, a month from now. Gadkari said, “We will build pressure on the Government of India through mass mobilisation and will never allow any further autonomy for Kashmir.” The meeting was called to oppose any further autonomy of Kashmir, as recommended by the Justice Saghir Ahmad Committee. ///////////// This committee or group was one of the five groups formed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh way back in 2006 to solve the several tangled issues bothering the Kashmiri people. Justice Saghir Ahmad chaired once such group to discuss the issue of greater autonomy for Kashmir, as demanded by parties in the Kashmir valley, particularly the National Conference and PDP. /////////////////// Gadkari said, “Kashmir is our identity since 1947. The first martyr in the cause of Kashmir was Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee and I assure you that your sacrifices will not go waste either. We are standing firmly with you. Things have come to such a pass because of the Congress. //////////////// The tragedy is that politicians cannot think beyond the next elections. /////////////// This Saghir Ahmad report, we will never allow it to be implemented.” He said, “The BJP is committed to secularism and justice, but that means justice to all and discrimination against none.” ////////////// The meeting, however, started on a sour note when the convenor of the Foundation Tarun Vijay invited Manushi editor Madhu Kishwar to speak. Immediately a couple of women, including a known Delhi journalist rushed to the dais and prevented her from speaking, protesting against the fact that she had earlier shared a platform with the Hurriyat activists at another function on the Kashmir issue. They stalled the proceedings for nearly half an hour. /////////////// Later speaking from the dais, chairman of the foundation and BJP vice-president Bal Apte criticised former Supreme Court judges. Justice Saghir Ahmad is a retired judge of the Supreme Court. /////////////////// He said, “The Supreme Court has delivered some great judgements. But I do not know what happens to them once they retire. We all know what they end up as. There is need for judges also to stick to the right path. We have to fight against not just the administration, but such mindset of the judges as well.” //////////////// 000000000