After huge furore, AAP leader Prashant Bhushan says `Kashmir is an integral part of India`

Last Updated: Tuesday, January 7, 2014 - 07:31

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: As huge controversy erupted over Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Prashant Bhushan`s comments on deployment of Army in Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday quickly distanced his party from the purported statement.

Bhushan had on Sunday said that deployment of military in Jammu and Kashmir should be undertaken with the consent of people of the state.
However, after huge political uproar and Kejriwal himself distancing himself from his party colleague`s comments, Bhushan said that his views had been twisted and that any reference to a referendum should not be construed as a plebiscite on Jammu and Kashmir`s merger with India.

"The AAP is of view that Kashmir is an integral part of India. Needless to say, I share this view," Bhushan said in a statement.
As the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) mounted a fierce attack on Bhushan and the Congress and CPI-M too made critical comments, Kejriwal said the AAP did not agree with the referendum call.

"Deployment of Army (in the Kashmir Valley) is a matter of internal security. There is no question of having a referendum on it."

Kejriwal, however, added: "The feelings of the local people should be taken into account, otherwise it will be a threat to democracy. But our party is not in favour of any referendum."

Bhushan`s comments were flayed by parties like BJP and Congress. Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah also said there was no need for a referendum on such issues.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah added that governments don`t "need to conduct a referendum (on) every tricky situation".

The Communist Party of India said army deployment must be decided by the government and cannot be an issue of public debate.

"Such ill-advised ideas must always be rejected outrightly. They can only disturb India`s security environment and a disturbed environment disturbs politics, it disturbs sovereignity and it disturbs economy," BJP leader Arun Jaitley said.

Congress leader Ambika Soni also hit out at Bhushan saying such issues have "repercussions and fallouts which you can`t imagine".

She expressed surprise at the "flippant manner" in which Bhushan voiced his views pertaining to the sensitive state.

First Published: Tuesday, January 7, 2014 - 01:10

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