Hope people of J&K will not heed to separatists` call: Chidambaram
Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Saturday rejected any suggestion that Jammu and Kashmir was "back to square one".
New Delhi: Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Saturday rejected any suggestion that Jammu and Kashmir was "back to square one" after the execution of Afzal Guru and hoped that people of the state will not heed to call of separatists.
"I don`t get the impression that we are back to square one... I agree that after the execution of Afzal Guru (Parliament attack convict) there have been some protests and agitation and rise in the level of violence. I sincerely hope that violence will subside," he said.
Replying to a question on the situation in the state at the National Editors` Conference here, Chidambaram said unless there is sense of peace and security Jammu and Kashmir cannot develop. He was confident that the present phase of "uncertainty" will come to an end.
"I am told yesterday was relatively peaceful. There was no curfew yesterday. I sincerely hope that people of Jammu and Kashmir will not heed the call of separatists but heed the call of government and civil society and try to help restore peace and order in sense of security.
"I am sure in month of April-May we will restore sense of security that the people of Jammu and Kashmir want," he said.
He said the state`s prime developers were tourism, both pleasure as well as religious, which boomed in 2008 and reached a high point.
To a query regarding West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee`s allegations that Centre was discriminating against the state in allocation of funds, the Finance Minister said funds are allocated to states as per the constitution and recommendations of the Finance Commission.
"...No state is preferred, no state is discriminated against...Charge of discrimination is wrong and I reject the charge," Chidambaram said.
The minister further said that he has never favoured the idea of special package for states.
However, he said, the new Finance Commission has been asked to look into the problems of debt stressed states and advise government on how to deal with them.