After a delegation of opposition parties from Jammu and Kashmir yesterday met and apprised President Pranab Mukherjee of the prevailing restive situation in the Kashmir Valley, Janata Dal (United) national spokesperson K.C. Tyagi on Sunday said an all-party delegation under the leadership of the Prime Minister or the Home Minister should visit Kashmir to hold talks with mainstream political parties to find a solution to the current problem.
“An all-party delegation under the leadership of the Prime Minister or the Home Minister should visit Kashmir and start talks with mainstream political parties. Both sides — protesters and security forces — should maintain restraint. A truce should be announced and effort should be made to find fresh points for talks. But, pity is that even after 44 days, the Central Government remains impervious,” Tyagi told ANI.
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah led a delegation of members of opposition parties to meet President Mukherjee to apprise him of the restive situation in the Valley.
Speaking to the media here after submitting a memorandum to the President, Omar said this is the first time in memory that initiatives that should have been taken by the government are actually being taken by the opposition.
“This afternoon a delegation of opposition parties that had previously met in Srinagar, called on his Excellency the President to present him a memorandum and to apprise him of the situation currently prevailing, particularly in the Kashmir Valley, but also showing signs of spreading to Pir Punjal, Chenab Valley region of Jammu and Kargil part of Ladakh as well,” he said.
Omar added that their meeting with the President, which cuts across party lines, symbolised the deep concerns that they have for the prevailing situation and also their disappointment at the way the matter has sought to be handled, both by the Centre as well as the state government.
When asked about Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s statement, where he said India wants to see pens and computers in the hands of the Kashmiri youth and not stones and firearms, Tyagi said, “We are disappointed by the Central Government’s approach. I would like the Home Minister to lead an all-party delegation to Kashmir to express solidarity with the people of Kashmir.”
In an attempt to reach out to the Kashmiri youth, the Home Minister on Saturday insisted that India wants to see pens and computers in their hands and not stones and firearms.
Addressing a gathering here as a part of the 70th Independence Day celebrations ‘Yaad Karo Qurbani’ to pay tribute to freedom fighters at Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh, Singh said, “The people of this country want to see pens and computers in the hands of Kashmiri youth and not stones and firearms. We want to see employment in your hand. We want to see you working hard.”
“There can be no solution by protests. We first want that peace is established in the Valley and only after that we can mutually find a solution. The people of this country not only love the land of Kashmir but the Kashmiri people as well,” he added.
With West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday alleging that the federal structure is being bulldozed by the unilateral and arbitrary action of the Centre, Tyagi said, “I welcome the statement of Mamataji and our party will support her if she makes an effort in this direction. Democracy and secularism are in danger, and thus, we support the call for unity among parties.”
The All India Trinamool Congress tweeted Banerjee as saying, “In the name of cooperative federalism, opinions of states are being bulldozed, and the federal structure is being bulldozed by the unilateral, arbitrary action of the Centre. I have never seen a more arrogant Central Government. This is a dangerous ‘red’ signal to stop democratic system. If the Centre does not correct its course, we will be forced to hit the streets.”
Stating that “Bhashan” (speech) on social media can get you votes, the Bengal Chief Minister asked: “But, what about nation-building?”
“Inflation is up. Development projects for weaker sections are stagnant. There is a controversy over GDP numbers, said Mamata, asking: “If states pay most of the funds, why should be the scheme be named after leaders of the ruling party at the Centre?”
Maintaining that the Centre will be strengthened if the states are empowered, Mamata called upon every party to come together to fight unitedly against the attempts by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government to thwart the federal structure.