Cong refuses to give much importance to Arundhati's remarks | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Cong refuses to give much importance to Arundhati's remarks

delhi Updated: Oct 26, 2010 22:48 IST

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Congress on Tuesday refused to attach much importance to the views of author Arundhati Roy on Kashmir, saying it was "erroneous" to do so as she was not in the political mainstream but maintained that police would take action if she had violated the law.

"I do not understand why exaggerated importance is given to her who is not in the political mainstream. It is erroneous and uncalled for. Is she an MP? Is she a political leader. She is an author," party spokesman Manish Tewari told reporters .

He, however, said that a very robust government process is there in the country and if at all there have been violations of law, Delhi Police can register a case and take action as per law.

Tewari said Article 19 of the Constitution is clear on freedom of speech but one could not promote sedition or secession as per the Article.

At the convention on 'Azadi--The Only Way' here last week, hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani had shared the stage with writer Arundhati Roy and pro-Maoist leader Vara Vara Rao among others.

The Booker Prize winning author had said, "Kashmir has never been an integral part of India. It is a historical fact. Even the Indian government has accepted this."

BJP had taken strong exception to the remarks, saying freedom of speech did not mean the right to demand secession. It had accused the Centre of "looking the other way" and not taking any legal action.

Tewari said if Geelani and Roy have said anything which has violated the law, Delhi Police has the videotapes and was looking into the issue.

Asked about the statement of BJP MP Ram Jethmalani supporting the interlocutors for Kashmir, Tewari said he was not sure how much importance his views carried in the party as he had joined it recently.

"The problem with the BJP is that it does not have a line on the interlocutors. When former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had said that 'insaniyat ke dayre mein baat karenge', he was not addressing it to the mountains and valleys".

He said the statement of Vajpayee was obviously aimed at those who were not in the political mainstream.

"I want to ask the BJP its stand on the statement of its former Prime Minister. Do they agree with it or not," the spokesman said.