Jammu: A week after PDP and BJP refreshed their alliance for the second innings of their coalition in Jammu and Kashmir, Finance Minister of India, Arun Jaitley, on Tuesday said his party (BJP) had entered into the coalition despite “totally different” ideologies of the two parties to fight separatist forces and serve Jammu and Kashmir.
He said BJP has “emotional and ideological” relationship with Jammu and Kashmir and would never compromise with any type of separatism.
“We have a political ideology that we will never compromise with any type of separatism. We will oppose it,” said Jaitley, who is also the minister for Information and Broadcasting, while inaugurating the BJP’s regional office in the winter capital.
“Today it is a political reality that the mainstream political parties and the people of Kashmir region come together in our fight against separatism and we have to use this coalition in that direction,” he said.
Jaitley said, “It is known to everybody and our friends in the PDP also know that our ideologies are totally different but in such a political scenario to serve the country and the state, BJP got the opportunity to serve the state.”
Responding to questions, Jaitley said, “I will not comment about the country but will comment on Jammu and Kashmir. BJP not only has a political relationship but an emotional and ideological relationship with Jammu and Kashmir.”
He recalled that when Jan Sangh, the parent party of BJP, was formed, the first issue it raised was about Jammu and Kashmir and the leaders made sacrifices.
“The nationalistic path that we are following, its foundation was laid by Shyama Prasad Mookerjee and Pandit Prem Nath Dogra,” the minister said.
“Today, it is a unique situation and in which the people of the state gave a verdict during elections in which the maximum seats in Jammu were won by us,” he said.
Jaitley praised BJP’s leadership in Jammu. “I saw Union Minister Jitendra Singh for the first time on TV when he used to speak on Amarnath agitation and we felt that he should be taken into the party fold. He became a parliamentarian, got a good portfolio in PM’s office and emerged as a successful minister,” he said referring to the BJP MP from Udhampur-Doda.
Jaitley, who was speaking after inaugurating the newly constructed party building in Jammu, said when the 2008 Jammu and Kashmir Assembly elections were being contested and he was in-charge of BJP’s affairs in the state, the party office was very small.
“A need was felt to have a bigger office so we decided that as people help the party during elections we saved something from it and bought land for the office,” he said.
He said the office in Jammu will become a nucleus of party activities.
“BJP is very weak at making party offices. Even today the party does not have its own office building. We formed government in Delhi 50 years ago in 1967 but still we don’t have a party office for Delhi unit,” he said.
He said the party manages its affairs from government bunglows but now BJP national president Amit Shah has decided to have party offices in not only all states but in every district.
“Now it is the responsibility of state BJP chief Sat Sharma to make sure to have an office in every district of the state,” he said.
He said a good party office has its own benefits as people come with their suggestions, complaints and the workers share mood of the people with party leadership. He suggested converting the old office building in Jammu to a state-centric research institution.