Former Union Minister and senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Yashwant Sinha today said that the Centre should immediately clear its stand on Article 35-A of the Constitution, which grants special status to the residents of Jammu and Kashmir.
“People of Jammu and Kashmir are very concerned about the issue and the Centre should clear it’s stand,” Sinha, who is here on a three-day visit since August 16 told media persons.
He said the Jammu and Kashmir government has already filed a reply to the petition challenging the Article in the Supreme Court.
“Now it is the duty of the Centre to make its stand clear on the issue as people are very concerned here,” he said.
Yashwant Sinha accompanied by Sushobha Barve, Executive Director, Centre for Dialogue and Reconciliation (CDR), Air Vice Marshal (Retd.) Kapil Kak and Bharat Bhushan former Editor and senior journalist also met Governor N.N. Vohra at the Raj Bhawan here today.
Sinha shared his experiences with the Governor who stressed the importance of the regional parties in J&K and all the stakeholders, particularly the civil society, playing a lead role for securing the restoration of peace and normalcy.
Sinha yesterday met former chief ministers and opposition National Conference (NC) leaders Dr Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah here and discussed the overall political situation in Kashmir Valley.
He said that the meeting with Abdullah lasted for an hour in which the prevailing situation was discussed.
“We also discussed what the policy and attitude of the government should be for peace in the state,” the senior BJP leader said.
“We have again come here on a peace mission and would meet people of different shades to have first-hand information of the situation in the Valley,” he said.
Later, Sinha spoke at a seminar in Srinagar about India’s foreign policy: Opportunities and concerns for Next decade. The seminar was organized by the Center for Research and Development Policy (CRDP).
When asked about India’s commitment to protecting the rights of minorities in India, Sinha refused to speak about the issue.
“I refrain from answering the question because I don’t think that it is an important at this time,” Sinha replied to a question about the effects of India’s growing intolerance towards minorities on foreign policy.
Yashwant Sinha Ko gussa kyun aata hai…
While speaking at a seminar organized by the CRDP, Yashwant Sinha was visibly angry when a journalism student asked him about Indian government’s stand on power projects in the Jammu and Kashmir.
“As a token of friendship to Afghanistan, India build dams and parliament building in the country. Fair enough! Why doesn’t “your country” show same generosity towards its own people? Why is it not returning power projects to the Jammu and Kashmir?” the student questioned.
“I strongly object to the expression of “your India”. I represent the entire country as you do. Then you say “your India”. That means that you and I are separate,” visibly angry, Sinha replied.
“If you think so, then you don’t have an answer to that question. Why are you dependent on India then. Go and built those dams yourself. You consider yourself as non-Indians, that is unacceptable”, Sinha stated.