Sanjay Saraf, who belongs to a party which is part of the NDA, on Sunday confirmed that he had met Syed Ali Shah Geelani but dismissed reports that he had carried any message from Narendra Modi to the hardline Hurriyat leader.
Lok Jan Shakti Party national youth president Saraf said his relations with the separatist leader were “personal.”
“I have been meeting Geelani for the past so many years. I have not met him in the context that has been reported,” Mr. Saraf told PTI.
Mr. Saraf said he rushed here from Bihar after he was named as one of the emissaries of Mr. Modi that Mr. Geelani claimed had called on him for opening a dialogue with the BJP leader.
“This is a completely baseless report. I have not met Geelani since he was taken to Delhi for treatment in early March this year,” he said.
Asked about media reports identifying him as one of the two emissaries, Mr. Saraf said he was exploring legal options against media reports for “spreading falsehood and dragging my name into something that I was never part of.”
Mr. Geelani on Friday claimed that Mr. Modi had sent two emissaries to him and the separatist leadership in Jammu and Kashmir to create a “soft corner” for the BJP by making a “commitment” to seek a solution to Kashmir issue.
Mr. Geelani has not named the emissaries so far. The meeting allegedly took place in Delhi on March 22. The separatist leader also claimed that the emissaries had called on other separatist leaders who were now pinning hopes on the NDA coming to power for resolution of Kashmir issue.
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Saturday questioned the secrecy behind the move and asked the hardline separatist leader to identify the pointmen to establish who was “lying.” Mr. Geelani’s claims invited denials from Jamaat-e-Islami and moderate faction of Hurriyat Conference.
Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, chairman of the moderate faction, advised Mr. Geelani to shun the ‘holier than thou’ attitude.