BJP general secretary Ram Madhav here on Sunday said they wanted that detained political leaders in Jammu and Kashmir come out and resume their political activity.
He also said the government was confident that J-K will move towards development and total integration with India after the abrogation of its special status.
Several opposition leaders, including NC chief Farooq Abdullah; his son and former chief minister Omar Abdullah; and ex-PDP CM Mehbooba Mufti are among those under detention since August 5, the day the special status of J-K was revoked in Parliament.
“Very soon, we want to allow them to come out. When Article 370 was abrogated, close to 2,500 people were taken into preventive detention, today around 100 people are there,” Madhav said on the concluding day of the Military Literature Festival here.
“We want political activity to resume in the state. The remaining 100 people will be out soon and resume their political activity,” he responded to a question from former RAW chief A S Dulat during his speech on the topic, “Article 370 and the Death-Knell of Terrorism”.
“We are confident that in the coming days, Kashmir will move with the right direction towards development and total integration with the rest of the country,” he added.
When asked if he can specify the time period by which the detained leaders will be released, Madhav said, “See, it is a process which is going on continuously. We have allowed some four to five senior leaders to go and resume their activities. They have been freed from the preventive detention, like that the process will go on.”
Madhav said it was weird to dub detained people anti-national.
“It is a very weird logic to say that if somebody is put under preventive detention, he is anti-national. For so many reasons, every government puts people under preventive detention, that doesn’t make anybody anti-national.”
Responding to criticism over the way adopted to abrogate J-K’s special status, he said, “The way the whole thing was done was very constitutional and legal.”
“The removal of Article 370 was also intended to provide and give political rights, dignity and certain very civic and fundamental rights, which were being continuously denied. We believe that it was the best way to deal with the Kashmir problem,” he claimed.
He said the article, which was inserted in the Constitution in the “most undemocratic manner”, was removed in the “most democratic way”.
On the restoration of statehood to J-K, he said, “Our party will also stand up and demand statehood. I am confident that very soon statehood will come back to Jammu and Kashmir. If that is the political agenda of the parties in the Valley, we welcome it the most.”
On a question about ‘Kashmiriyat’, Madhav said, “We are hearing so many definitions about Kashmiriyat, the real definition will be when we see Kashmiri Pandits return their homes and hearths in Kashmir Valley, that should happen.”
He said they did not want to bring any demographic change.
“We do not have any plans to do any demographic change. Whatever happens in the course of history, I cannot speak about it, but definitely, the Pandits and other disempowered sections of Kashmiri society should be empowered again,” he said.
Justifying the abrogation of the special status, Madhav said the average Kashmiri “is open to wait and see how it is going to impact his life”.
“Largely, the people of Kashmir, I am sure, want to give this new turn of events a chance.” he said.
Congress MP and former Union Minister Manish Tewari also spoke on the occasion.