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Congress condemns BJP's demand of delimitation in J&K

Source: PTI
August 13, 2008 21:35 IST
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The Congress on Wednesday condemned the Bharatiya Janata Party's demand of a delimitation in Jammu and Kashmir saying such statements are provocative and meant that the opposition party was trying to "fish in troubled waters".

"We strongly condemn the BJP's stand. It shows utter callousness as they are trying to fish in troubled waters," Congress spokesman Abhishek Singhvi told reporters in Delhi.

Earlier, former BJP president Venkaiah Naidu had demanded a delimitation of constituencies in the border state as it has been due for a long time.

Singhvi said even to talk about delimitation at this point of time when the situation was tense in the state 'was partisan, aimed' to further their political interests.

"It is amazing that when J&K is tense, they are raising such demands for petty political gains," he said, adding, "all of us have to rise against partisan politics and as Indians."

He said on the one hand, the United Progressive Alliance president was reaching out to all political parties to solve the problem and on the other, the BJP was intent on dividing the people.

"The entire purpose of the UPA is to reach out to the people of J&K in a non-partisan manner while that of the BJP is to divide the people," the spokesman said.

The Congress accused the BJP of creating a "chain reaction" by such statements.

"Such statements are not only destructive, but also means playing into the hands of Pakistan," Singhvi added.

Alleging that such remarks were politically inappropriate, Singhvi said a party which did not get any seats in the state is trying to build a base with such provocative statements.

Replying to a question on the schedule of elections in Jammu and Kashmir, he said this was not the right time for scheduling election dates and political considerations.

"Peace is the foremost priority at this point not politics," Singhvi said, adding, "the Election Commission and the government will take a decision on the issue at an appropriate time."

Asked why did the government did not take cognisance of the situation for a month in the sensitive state and whether there was lethargy on the part of Home Minister Shivraj Patil, Singhvi said, "There is no magic wand with the home minister and the government."

"We have already started a unique initiative with the all-party delegation to the state. I will not fall in the trap of blame game," he added.

In reply to another question regarding the involvement of the Hurriyat and the Jammu-based Shri Amarnath Sangharsh Samiti in the all-party delegation, Singhvi said no one has been kept out.

The spokesman did not take questions on the next date of the meeting of the all-party initiative saying it was for the government to decide.

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