Updated: April 1, 2022 8:47:26 am
At a time when the BJP and the AAP are engaged in a war of words over Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s comments on the movie The Kashmir Files, NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Thursday accused the BJP of creating a “poisonous atmosphere” by spreading “false propaganda” about the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the Kashmir Valley.
“Such a film should not have been cleared for screening. But it is given tax concessions and those responsible for keeping the country united are encouraging people to watch the film that stokes anger among people,” Pawar said, addressing a convention of the minorities department of the Delhi unit of his party.
The Congress, too, had attacked the BJP for promoting the movie. The party’s communication department head Randeep Surjewala had accused the government of trying to spread hatred in society through the movie.
Pawar said that Kashmiri Pandits did, indeed, have to flee the Valley, but he pointed out that Muslims, too, were targeted in a similar manner. “Pakistan-based terror groups were responsible for the attacks on Kashmiri Pandits and Muslims,” he said.
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If the Narendra Modi government really cared about Kashmiri Pandits, Pawar said, it should make every effort for their rehabilitation and not stoke anger against minorities.
Pawar’s remarks come at a time when the feeling that his party is going soft on the BJP was gaining ground within the Shiv Sena, the NCP’s ally in Maharashtra’s ruling coalition.
Pawar also criticised the BJP for dragging Jawaharlal Nehru into the debate over Kashmir. He argued that it was V P Singh who was PM when the exodus of Kashmir Pandits began.
“The V P Singh government was backed by the BJP. Mufti Mohammad Sayeed was the home minister and Jagmohan, who later contested the Lok Sabha polls from Delhi as a BJP candidate, was the governor of Jammu and Kashmir,” Pawar said. He added that the then J&K chief minister Farooq Abdullah had quit following differences with Jagmohan and that it was the governor who facilitated the departure of Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley.
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