Union Minister Jitendra Singh Saturday took a dig at the PDP and the National Conference for raising the demand for separate administrative divisions for Pir Panjal and Chenab Valley, saying the parties were desperate to "introduce poison" of divisiveness based on religion in the peaceful region.
Politics in the name of religion is going to cause more harm not only to the state but also to these parties, he said.
"Let us not forget that the decision to carve out a division for the region was based on certain academic logic. It is based on very firm reasons of logistics, geographical realities and it is not motivated by any politics," he said.
"It was a long-standing demand of the people of Ladakh for obvious reasons... The BJP had promised divisional status to the region even before coming to power," Singh told reporters here.
Taking a dig the Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party and the National Conference for raising the demand for similar status to Pir Panjal (comprising Rajouri and Poonch districts) and Chenab Valley (comprising Doda, Ramban and Kishtwar districts) regions of Jammu division, he said, "Those who are talking of carving out similar divisions in other areas, whether for Doda region or Poonch-Rajouri are doing so purely for political reasons."
Singh said he had no hesitation to say that they are trying to introduce poison in the peaceful psyche of the people living there.
"In Doda, there has been never a demand for a separate division because it does not suffer as the people of Ladakh. The people, both communities, live in harmony and very comfortably and they follow composite culture.
"The parties like PDP and NC which are desperate to introduce this poison of divisiveness based on religion and this politicking on the name of religion is going to cause more harm not only to the state but even to these parties which are trying to profess it," he said.
On a report by the US-based independent watchdog Freedom House that Jammu and Kashmir enjoys more freedom than Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), Singh said it is "unanimous and common opinion" of those who visit Pakistan and PoK frequently.
"There is no comparison at all. Jammu and Kashmir is one of the front-line developing states in India today particularly after Narendra Modi took over as Prime Minister of the country. He has given special impetus and priority to the state and northeastern states whereas PoK is still living 40 years behind and are also facing discrimination viz-a-viz other Pakistan provinces like Punjab," he said.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)