NEW DELHI: The Congress on Friday distanced itself from the statement of senior party leader Saifudin Soz that Independence was the first choice of Kashmiris.
Talking to reporters here, AICC media in-charge Randeep Surjewala said,''I have seen a statement made by Saifudin Soz on a book yet to be published. If the contents of the report in circulation are correct, the Congress completely rejects the statement. It is a cheap tactic to sell his book. It is an incontrovertible fact that Kashmir is an integral part of India and this fact can never be changed.''
In his statement, Soz, a former Union minister had said, "Musharraf said Kashmiris don't want to merge with Pakistan, their first choice is independence. The statement was true then and remains true now also. I say the same but I know that it is not possible."
The clarification by the Congress came after the BJP on Friday stepped up attack against Congress party in reference to a statement by Saifuddin Soz and said the 'pro-Pakistan' statements are weakening the armed forces.
"Yeh ek nayi congress have (This is a new Congress party. It is BJP's charge with a full sense of responsibility that Congress leaders today are designed to make a statement that is in sync with terror elements)," BJP leader and Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters here.
He said that Congress president Rahul Gandhi and former president Sonia Gandhi should clarify Charging the BJP of raking up the issue to divert attention from recent revelations that Ahmedabad District Cooperative Bank (ADCB), whose directors include BJP's National President, Amit Shah (who is also its past chairman) and his close associates received, the highest amount of old demonetized notes i.e. a whopping Rs 745 Cr in just 5 days between 10.11.2016 to 14.11.2016.
Surjewala said,''we have earlier seen the statement made by members of the BJP 'Margdarshak mandal' like Yashwant Sinha and L K Advani. In fact, Mr Advani made a controversial statement when he visited the 'mazar' of Jinnah. Also, in the presence of the Prime Minister, the Chief Minister of the BJP-PDP coalition Government in the state praised Pakistan for the formation of the government in the state. Narendra Modi invited the ISI, which has been responsible for the terror attacks in India, to probe the attack on Pathankot air base . Raking up the statement by Soz is nothing but an attempt to divert attention from the recent revelations on Amit Shah and other BJP leaders' role during Demonetisation.''