Srinagar, July 30: Bharatiya Janata Party on Thursday punctured the statehood balloon by claiming that Jammu and Kashmir will continue to remain a Union Territory till militancy ends.
Senior BJP leader, Ashok Kaul, while talking to Precious Kashmir said, “We don’t see J&K’s statehood being restored in near future. We are not opposing it but gun culture will have to end before J&K turns into a state again.”
It’s in place to mention here that speculations are rife that J&K’s statehood is likely to be restored soon and the modalities have already been worked out for it.
President of Apni Party, Altaf Bukhari, earlier this week while addressing a news conference had demanded restoration of J&K’s statehood and completion of the delimitation exercise soon.
After Bukhari, National Conference vice-president and former J&K Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah, wrote an Oped in a national daily, stating that he won’t contest the assembly elections till J&K remains a Union Territory.
His Oped led to the NC chief spokesman Aga Ruhullah tendering his resignation from the post and the party following which Omar clarified that he hasn’t demanded restoration of statehood only and would fight to get J&K’s special status back.
Ashok Kaul while reacting to Omar’s statement, said, “It seems Omar Abdullah is under pressure. Otherwise he also knows very well that Article 370 will never return and he has accepted the ground reality. His party leaders should do the same.”
National Conference (NC) senior leader and Member Parliament (MP) Mohammad Akbar Lone said that even if National Conference (NC) MPs tender their resignation it will not resolve any problem. “What difference our (NC MPs) resignation will make,” a local news agency quoted Lone as having said.
He said their resignation would not bring statehood or special status back. “If it can, we are ready to resign. But if it cannot, what is the fun to tender it (resignation),” Lone said.
Ashok Kaul, who is also the BJP general secretary organization, ruled out any possibility of a Political Advisory Council being formed in the near future. “I don’t think that the Centre has any plan to set up any Advisory Council in J&K. Present arrangement will continue till assembly elections are held in the Union Territory. Power won’t be handed over to anyone through a backdoor,” Kaul said.
It may be recalled that when speculations about the advisory council led by Altaf Bukhari being constituted were rife, the J&K BJP president Ravinder Raina had opposed the idea vehemently and after his statement the process stopped abruptly.