Opposition divided on Kashmir autonomy issue
Concerned over the situation in Kashmir, Opposition parties Thursday attacked the government over its handling of the affairs related to the state but were divided on the question of granting autonomy to the state.
New Delhi: Concerned over the situation in
Kashmir, Opposition parties Thursday attacked the government over
its handling of the affairs related to the state but were
divided on the question of granting autonomy to the state.
While BJP was strongly against grant of autonomy and even
questioned whether the government was going to discuss it,
Left parties favoured political and economic package including
"broadening of framework of autonomy within the sovereignty of
Initiating the debate on situation in Jammu and Kashmir
which has been witnessing violence for over two months, CPI
leader Gurudas Dasgupta said the central government`s policies
with regard to the state had "not succeeded".
He said there was a sense of alienation among people of
Kashmir and had "genuine grievances" which need to be
addressed through immediate "pro-active" measures.
"I don`t want to use to word failed, it is too hard. I
don`t want to embarrass the government, it is already
embarrassed," he said while contending that Kashmir has been
"on fire" for a pretty long time.
Alleging that the "state is insensitive towards Kashmir",
Dasgupta said, "People of Kashmir must get their due. They
must be able to feel a part of the country."
Contending that "tension so high" in Kashmir could not be
"artificially" created, he said he did not dispute that
"strings" of stone-pelters may be pulled from across the
border but it could not happen if there were "no genuine
grievances" among the people of Kashmir.
"I am not ready to accept that every act of protest is an
act of hooliganism," Dasgupta said.
He said the "disconnect between the ruled and the rulers"
in Jammu and Kashmir is widening, which was unfortunate in a
Referring to Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, he said the
"young man has been promoted" but the "change of guard does not automatically lead to change of policy".
BJP leader M M Joshi referred to Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh`s announcement that the government was ready to hold
dialogue on political issues and wondered whether this meant
discussion on demands for "independence" or "autonomy".
He wanted to know what the "genuine grievances" of people
of Kashmir were when the central government was giving 11 per
cent of resources to a state having only one per cent of national population.
Joshi said it was not true that people of Kashmir had
"economic problems" as he had only heard demands for
"independence" and "autonomy".
Addressing the government, he asked, "Will this be the
basis of your dialogue? If you say yes, say it openly. If you
say no, say so."