Srinagar: In a rebuff of the chief minister’s statement made a day before, BJP national vice-president and in charge of Jammu and Kashmir, Avinash Rai Khanna, said on Thursday that no question arises of withdrawing AFSPA (Armed Forces Special Powers Act) from the state till peace is restored.
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti had said on Wednesday that AFSPA should be gradually removed from Kashmir.
On the sidelines of a function in Srinagar, Khanna said that the BJP-led government was closely monitoring the situation in Kashmir. “The government will take a decision at the right time,” Khanna told reporters. “As far as BJP’s stand on AFSPA is concerned, it is clear: AFSPA can’t be withdrawn until peace is restored in the state and the situation turns normal.”
Khanna held a detailed meeting with party workers in Srinagar ahead of the parliamentary by-elections for the Srinagar and Anantnag constituencies. He told party workers that the BJP is committed to its agenda of development and good governance in all states of the country. “BJP’s three-year rule has changed the country and people have accepted its governance,” Khanna said, adding that this was the reason why people voted for the BJP shunning creed, caste and religion.
“People rejected the parties that believed in divide and rule,” he said.
BJP state president and legislative assembly member Sat Sharma asked party workers to gear up for the upcoming by-elections. He asked workers to participate en masse in the elections. “We have a chance to choose leaders who can represent us and work for our welfare,” he said.
Ashok Kaul, BJP state general secretary, took feedback from party workers about the BJP’s “Jan Sampark Yatra” and listened to the issues faced by people, particularly in rural areas.
The party leadership also facilitated newly appointed vice-chairmen of the state unit, GM Mir, Khalid Jehangir and Dr Ali. Legislative Council Members Sofi Yousuf and Surinder Ambardar were also present on the occasion.