Dismissing claims of the opposition that the Centre was responsible for alienation of people of the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Thursday attacked the Congress party for ruling the troubled state using undemocratic means, manipulating the election processes and in turn hurting Kashmir for decades rather than the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which had no role in the valley before 2014.
The Opposition and the Centre hurled charges at each other during the discussion on the proclamation of President’s Rule under Article 356 in Jammu and Kashmir. Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad accused the BJP government of alienating people of Jammu and Kashmir and trying to break the Congress, National Conference and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) after withdrawing support from the PDP-BJP coalition government.
Jaitley said that successive elections in 1957, 1962 and 1967 were not fair and people in the state still remember that the first free and fair elections were held after Morarji Desai became the prime minister in 1977. “The state was ruled by the Congress using undemocratic means and the elections were manipulated. Problems in Kashmir did not start after 2014 and it was the mistakes of the Congress party that are hurting Kashmir and not the recent rule of the BJP,” said Arun Jaitley.
He also raised the death of Bharatiya Jan Sangh founder S P Mookerjee in custody and said he died due to barriers erected by the Congress party.“When history will give its verdict on the roles of Jawaharlal Nehru and Syama Prasad Mukherjee, you will feel the pain,” he said.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh also rejected claims of the opposition that the government did not engage all stakeholders to resolve dispute in the beleaguered state and that the government will have no objection in holding elections in the state along with Lok Sabha elections this year.