Even as the Aam Aadmi Party distanced itself from the controversial statement made by its member Prashant Bhushan on the status of the Army in Jammu& Kashmir, both the BJP and Congress came down heavily on the nascent political party saying that serious matters involving national security should not be handled in such a trivial manner.
Flaying the comment, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley said, “Some separatist groups have been demanded it. It is regrettable that a party like the Aam Aadmi Party, which harbours national ambitions, should adopt a position hostile to India’s interests.”
“Till such time the infrastructure of terror remains, the presence of the Army in Jammu & Kashmir is essential,” he said adding that the country’s defence was a Central subject and cannot be handled at the municipal level. The senior BJP leader said that even Pakistan has been trying to internationalise the Kashmir issue and the plebiscite was not even part of international agenda, a UN process or even the Indo-Pak bilateral talks.
The BJP also asked the AAP to clarify its ideological position on various national issues. “It is only after the elections that initial indications coming from its leaders show that it stands for nationalisation of airports and natural sources, for a soft and weak position on India’s security issues and for high subsidies which will lead to higher taxation. Symbolism rather than substance has been displayed in the last ten days,” Jaitley said on his blog. BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said, “The separatists have been making such demands with a ‘jihadi’ mindset, but the same thing is being said with a ‘gentle face’ by the AAP… The Army is not on a picnic in Kashmir and is there to protect the honour of the country and to foil the nefarious designs of terrorists. Questioning their integrity is not in national interest.”
The Congress also warned the AAP to be careful while making such statements. Party spokesperson Sanjay Jha the AAP has “Pan-India ambitions” and its leaders should exercise caution while making statements.
“When everyone agrees that the presence of Army has been critical in controlling terrorism, I advise the AAP that they should realise that they cannot be irresponsible,” he added.
BJP spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi questioned if there was a synergy between the Congress and the AAP on the K-issue as few days ago the Prime Minister too had remarked about a possible solution on the vexed problem.