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BJP Will Use Jammu & Kashmir Issue for Polarisation Ahead of 2019 Elections, Says Yashwant Sinha

According to Yeshwant Sinha, the issue in Jammu and Kashmir will help the BJP accentuate communalism and polarisation. They will rake this up in the elections to come, including 2019.

Aishwarya Kumar | News18.com@aishwaryak03

Updated:June 21, 2018, 8:07 AM IST
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BJP Will Use Jammu & Kashmir Issue for Polarisation Ahead of 2019 Elections, Says Yashwant Sinha
File photo of former Union Minister Yashwant Sinha. (Reuters)
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New Delhi: Days after the BJP pulled out of the alliance with the PDP in Jammu & Kashmir, former BJP leader Yashwant Sinha said that the party was all set to use the issue for accentuating communalism in the country.

“There is no doubt that the issue in the state will help the BJP accentuate communalism and polarisation. They will rake this up in the elections to come, including 2019,” Sinha said in a conversation with News18.

The former External Affairs minister leads the Concerned Citizens’ Group which has worked on the Kashmir situation for long. Sinha also said that the alliance was fractured from the start.

“No sooner than the time it had been formed, both partners started pulling in opposite directions. The BJP had its own policy to follow and the PDP had its own policy. In between all this, governance had become a casualty. The alliance was bound to fail,” he added.

“All parties have said that they do not wish to form government. Now, since this state Assembly is not putting forth a government, then the Assembly should be dissolved and fresh elections must be held. Otherwise people in the state will think that Jammu & Kashmir was just used as a pawn by the BJP for electoral gains,” he further said.

Mincing no words, Sinha said that there was no doubt that the BJP had used former J&K chief minister Mehbooba Mufti and then discarded her. The BJP, he added, enjoyed fruits of the office for three years without delivering on any of the promises that were mentioned in the agenda of alliance, a well written document. “Now, since Mehbooba was the CM, the blame attaches with her position. But blaming her for the collapse and the state’s situation is unfair.”

He also rubbished the BJP’s justification of the state having failed in maintaining law and order. “When it comes to Jammu & Kashmir, maintaining law and order is the responsibility of the central government as much as it is the responsibility of the state government. The Army is all over the state and so are other paramilitary forces. Who controls them? It is the Centre. So the BJP can’t say that the PDP failed. The state and even the Jammu & Kashmir police have a limited role,” he said.

Sinha has been a staunch critic of the central government’s policy in Kashmir, which he calls a muscular policy. At a recent event in Delhi, he had called it a brainless policy, something which he reiterated during this conversation with News18.

He said there are enough indications that the central government was going to adopt a hard, muscular policy. “We have experimented with muscular policy in the past, killed many people but that has not yielded any results. While the government may think that is the need of the hour, but there are many people, including myself, who believe that dialogue is still the way forward,” he said.

The former minister also said that people were happy the government had fallen since it was not delivering. The need of the hour, however, was for all stakeholders to use this opportunity to begin a solid dialogue with the government of India, he added.
| Edited by: Naqshib Nisar
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