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NCP president Sharad Pawar has called for shunning politics to talk to the various stakeholders in Kashmir, to calm down the situation there. Pawar was talking to the media on the sidelines of a function to celebrate the 61st birthday of Union Road Transport and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari, at the residence of former state Minister Anil Deshmukh. “The situation in Kashmir is very worrisome. Recent election saw a turnout of only seven percent which shows that the people there are going away from democracy. Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had initiated dialogue with the stakeholders in Kashmir to bring peace to the troubled state,” said Pawar.
“Current PM Narendra Modi’s visit to the state last year had also stabilised a situation a little bit. But it’s again on the boil. There is need to shun politics and initiate dialogue with the stakeholders. The people of Kashmir don’t like to be associated with Pakistan. They need a healing touch,” he added.
“We are ready to keep politics aside and help the government bring normalcy back in Kashmir,” he said further. Pawar ruled out the possibility of war with Pakistan despite tension on the border. “Both the countries don’t want war, since it can lead to big losses,” he said.
Pawar reiterated that he wasn’t in the race for Presidential elections. “During the meeting in New Delhi on Friday, all parties appealed to the ruling BJP to help elect a consensus candidate. If that doesn’t happen, the Opposition can put up its own candidate,” he said.
Further, the NCP chief expressed concern over the condition of co-operative banks, saying, several thousand crores have been lying with these banks since demonetisation. The RBI has said that, pending inquiries, the money can’t be put to any use. So, how will farmers get loans for the coming season?” he asked.
He also questioned the government on the achievements of demonetisation. Meanwhile, Pawar refused to comment, either way, on the performance of the Devendra Fadnavis government. “There is nothing positive or negative about it. The attempt seems to be to remain free of controversies. The state doesn’t seem to be getting any big investment,” he added.