Lashing out at the separatists, Union minister Jitendra Singh on Saturday said whether they were ready to make their children stone-pelters for their “cause”.
Attacking the separatist leaders for giving a strike call tomorrow during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to inaugurate the Chenani-Nashri tunnel, he said it become a “fashion” for them to give such calls.
Separatists had given a general strike call in protest against Modi’s visit to the state to inaugurate the country’s longest tunnel on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway.
In a joint statement, chairmen of rival factions of the Hurriyat Conference, Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, and JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik had said “There should be a complete shutdown on April 2 to protest the proposed visit of Modi. All rhetoric about development or construction of tunnels and roads are futile and will not succeed in luring us”.
Singh said that giving such calls has become a fashion for separatists and also a culture and tradition in Kashmir politics that “the so-called mainstream political leaders when they are out of power, they start using the language of the separatists and semi-separatists.”
“The politics of self interest is more important to them (separatists) than the public interest. They are doing it not for public interest,” he told reporters.
Questioning their representative character, he said that without contesting elections, some of them are self-appointed representatives of the cause of Kashmir.
“Nowhere in the world, opposition to growth and development can be justified, whatever may be the cause and how holy it may be,” Singh said.
“If the cause is so holy, instead of getting the poor neighbours to become stone-pelters, they should first set an example by making their own children stone-pelters and this applies equally to some of the mainstream politicians,” he added.
The Union minister said that the separatists were against development and have reservations to it.
“Some people have reservations to it (development). They are trying to oppose, but they are in fact blatantly exposing themselves because regardless of our political ideology, our faith and belief and our caste and creed and region, I think there is no justification in opposing anything which gets to supplement the growth and development of the region and the people,” he added.
Singh accused them of doing politics “more for self- interest rather than public interest” and asked the people to come out in large numbers to send out a strong message against the bluff, which is being played for decades by the separatists and some mainstream leaders.
Attacking some politicians for resorting to the statements of separatists, he said that the moment they come to power, they start swearing in in the name of India and say Jammu and Kashmir being the integral part of India.
The Union minister said that the youth and the common man of Kashmir wishes to be part of the mainstream.