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Did RSS/BJP have a role in making J&K part of India? Digvijay

Press Trust of India  |  Bhopal/Sehore 

Congress leader Digvijay Singh on Tuesday said the Centre's decision to strip Jammu and Kashmir of the special status and bifurcate it into two Union Territories was put into action without taking the people of the border state into confidence.

The Centre's move on Jammu and Kashmir will exacerbate the "crisis" in the militancy-affected state, he said, and sought to know whether the RSS/BJP had any role in making J&K a part of India post-independence.

Talking to reporters in Bhopal, Singh said the entire Jammu and Kashmir, including the Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK), "should be" an integral part of India.

Singh was responding to a query on allegedly distorted portrayal of the Kashmir issue in foreign media and what should be India's concern at the global level in the event of China and Pakistan raising the issue of withdrawal of special status for Jammu and Kashmir granted under Article 370.

"Basically, I am only interested in India should retain Kashmir that's all...Kashmir should be an integral part of India, including PoK," Singh said.

The former Madhya Pradesh chief minister said brotherhood existing in Jammu and Kashmir for several thousand years should remain intact.

"No alternative is left now but to pray to God as far as the Kashmir issue is concerned. We pray to God that peace be restored in Kashmir....Brotherhood of several thousands years should remain intact there," said Singh.

Asked about divisions in the Congress over the Centre's actions on J&K, he said the viewpoint enunciated by Rahul Gandhi was the official party line on the issue.

"The Congress line on it was that of Rahul Gandhi. All are following it. I have spoken Congress line.

"People (Congress leaders) have said the means adopted to scrap Article 370 were wrong. All have said this, he said.

A section of the Congress has supported the Centre's move to abolish provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution that gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

"National integration isnt furthered by unilaterally tearing apart J&K, imprisoning elected representatives and violating our Constitution. This nation is made by its people, not plots of land.

"This abuse of executive power has grave implications for our national security," Gandhi had said, reacting to the Centre's moves on J&K.

Talking to reporters in Sehore, Singh said the BJP should realise it has put the country in trouble.

"I am telling you today that in a bid to boast itself, the government has taken the decision on Kashmir... without taking the people of Kashmir into confidence.

"This will increase the crisis. Do not forget that on one side there is Pakistan, on the other there is China, Afghanistan is located nearby. You (the BJP) should understand that where you have put the country in trouble," he said.

Singh targetted the RSS/BJP and sought to know if they had any role in making Kashmir a part of India.

"The Congress has always stressed on strengthening the nation. Had the BJP and RSS merged Junagadh, Hyderabad and Kashmir with India? Was the RSS or the BJP involved in making Kashmir a part of India?

"They were supporting the British before 1947. They opposed Gandhiji during Quit India movement," he said.

When asked about his penchant for making controversial statements, Singh turned philosophical, saying, "The man who speaks truth should be ready to face stones".

"Jesus Christ was crucified. Prophet Mohammad, too, had to face opposition.. Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated, Abraham Lincoln was shot dead, Martin Luther King, too, was shot dead," he said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, August 13 2019. 22:00 IST