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Arvind Kejriwal distances himself from Prashant Bhushan`s remark on Kashmir referendum

By Ritesh K Srivastava | Last Updated: Monday, January 6, 2014 - 16:45

Zee Media Bureau/Ritesh K Srivastava

New Delhi: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday expressed displeasure over his party colleague Prashant Bhushan`s controversial suggestion for a referendum in Jammu and Kashmir to decide whether the people want the Army to handle security in the region.

Clarifying his stand on the issue, Kejriwal said, "We don`t agree with what Prashant Bhushan said about Kashmir, it`s his personal view."
Reacting to it, Kejriwal said there is "no question" of having a referendum on keeping the army in Jammu and Kashmir but the feeling of the locals must be respected.

"Deployment of army (in the Kashmir Valley) is a matter of internal security. There is no question of having a referendum on it," he said, while clearly distancing himself from party colleague Prashant Bhushan`s views.

Bhushan, a senior apex court lawyer, had triggered a debate when he said in a television interview that in keeping with participatory democracy, locals in the Kashmir Valley should be allowed to determine whether they want the army for internal security or not.
"If people feel that the army is violating human rights and they say they don`t want the army to be deployed for their security then the army should be withdrawn," he reportedly said.

The AAP leader also said the government can decide if the army is needed to deal with external threats along the border. But he qualified his comments saying it was his personal opinion.

First Published: Monday, January 6, 2014 - 13:41
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