The BJP on Tuesday slammed the Jammu and Kashmir government over its stand on minorities in the state, saying that it “amounts to cheating the nation and looting money from the central exchequer meant for religious and linguistic minorities in the state”.
The BJP and PDP are in a coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir.
Reacting to an affidavit filed by the state government in the Supreme Court ruling out a minority commission in Jammu and Kashmir, state BJP spokesperson Prof Virender Gupta said, “The Kashmiri leadership that considers itself a most secular lot cannot afford to ignore the plight of minorities in the state, who are criminally victimised and discriminated against.” The state, with about 68 per cent Muslim population, cannot provide benefits meant for minorities to the majority community, he added.
The state government’s affidavit had come in response to a public interest litigation filed by a local lawyer, Ankur Sharma, seeking directions to the state government to legislate a state minority commission for time-bound identification of religious and linguistic minorities.
The state’s plea that these benefits should accrue to minorities at the national level and hence to Muslims of the state shows “its communal bias and communal politics that it is pursuing during the last 70 years’’, the BJP spokesperson said. He also asked the Centre to notify state-level minorities and issue clear-cut instructions for providing benefits of central welfare schemes to actual minorities in Jammu and Kashmir.