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Amit Shah blames Congress for ‘Kashmir problem’

LiveMint logoLiveMint 20-05-2017 PTI

Chandigarh: BJP national president Amit Shah on Saturday said the ‘Kashmir problem’ emerged because of Congress, expressing confidence that Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government will soon control the present situation in the Valley.

“What else Congress can say. Kashmir problem emerged because of Congress,” Shah said while addressing media in Chandigarh on Saturday. He was asked to respond to the Congress’ allegations. The party had reportedly accused the NDA government of failing to control the situation in Kashmir.

Concerned over the “disturbed” situation in the Valley, the Congress had formulated a policy-planning group for Jammu and Kashmir on 19 April, to take forward the peace initiative in the state. The policy-planning group is chaired by former prime minister Manmohan Singh and includes former home minister P. Chidambaram and Congress Working Committee members Karan Singh and Ghulam Nabi Azad, besides the J&K Congress in-charge Ambika Soni.

The Congress has been critical of the Centre as well as the Peoples Democratic Party-Bharatiya Janata Party coalition government over the handling of the situation in J&K since July last year. When asked about Kashmiri students indulging in stone pelting at the security personnel, Shah said such situations had emerged in the past as well.

“Kashmir faced such situations several times since 1989 (since the onset of militancy in the state). It is not for the first time that such a situation has erupted and these situations were controlled. Whenever security agencies adopted a tough stand, such situations arose. I am confident that this situation will soon be controlled,” he said.

Praising the three-year old regime of Modi government at the Centre, he further added that the NDA government has worked for the upliftment of poor, downtrodden, labourers and farmers.

He went to add that the present government at the Centre has taken a bold step like demonetisation to contain spread of black money to a large extent and boost country’s economy. Welcoming the International Court of Justice (ICJ) order, which stayed the execution of former naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, he termed it as “a very big achievement” for the government.

Earlier, a large number of BJP workers and supporters accorded a grand welcome to Shah at the airport in Chandigarh Saturday morning and organised a roadshow, while escorting him to the party office in the city.

The BJP chief is on a 110-day country-wide tour, which began in Jammu last month. His tour will be in two phases—95 days and 15 days.

With an eye on the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Shah is travelling across states to strategise and find ways to strengthen the party at the grass-root level. Shah was received by Chandigarh BJP president Sanjay Tandon, the party’s local MP Kirron Kher and others. “Chandigarh is the fourth place on Shah’s itinerary for the 95-day tour which began with his visit to Jammu on April 29. The BJP chief has also visited Himachal Pradesh and Tripura,” Tandon said.

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