BJP opposes demand, Left for package
Raised tempers and emotional speeches marked a discussion on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir in the Lok Sabha on Thursday with the Opposition parties expressing concern at the happenings in the Valley and the government's handling of it, but there were clear division over granting of autonomy.
While the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was strongly against grant of autonomy and “azadi,'' the Left parties favoured political and economic package including “broadening of framework of autonomy within the sovereignty of the Indian Constitution.''
Need of the hour
However, it was Union Minister and National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah who stole the show by reiterating that Kashmiris – including from the Pakistan occupied Kashmir and the areas with China now – wanted to be with India.
“Those demanding independence do not realise the consequences of their demand,'' he said, while making a passionate appeal for winning over the hearts and minds of the Kashmiris.
Autonomy, Dr. Abdullah said, was the need of the hour and would strengthen the Indian federal system. “Soon all States will demand autonomy and this will be a healthy way to strengthen the Centre.''
Rejecting the demand for more autonomy for Jammu and Kashmir, Murli Manohar Joshi (BJP) said the government should tell the people of Kashmir bluntly that demands for “independence or autonomy are not acceptable.”