Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat on Sunday said the Kashmir issue could have been resolved if the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government was in power for a couple of years more.
Bhagwat was in Agra to address a gathering of about 2,000 young married couples, invited by the RSS. The couples, in the age group 21 to 35 years, asked the saffron leader questions on various subjects.
“Sincere efforts were being made by then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee but the government at the Centre changed and thus desired results could not be achieved on resolving the Kashmir issue,” Bhagwat said in response to a question. “With the change of government at the Centre, the policies changed.”
However, he assured the audience that there was no need for worry because “a government elected by the masses is in power now and efforts are being made to resolve the Kashmir issue.”
“There is no problem in Jammu and Ladakh, and in the Valley, the government and the administration are making efforts that are focused on normalising the situation to create a suitable atmosphere,” Bhagwat added. “There were efforts made in Parliament too.”
He said it was “well-established that Kashmiris do not want to go with Pakistan”, and efforts were on to make conditions suitable so that they can live here.
Responding to a question on the grievances of cow protection groups over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s comment, the RSS chief said, “...cows should be protected but this task should be undertaken within the framework of laws. It should be conducted with some restraint”.
Modi had earlier said, “People who have set up shop in the name of gau raksha (cow protection) make me very angry... I have seen some people who do anti-social activities at night and don the garb of cow protectors in the day.”
Bhagwat also allayed fears of forced conversions and spreading a particular religion in the name of education.
“It is better to perform the tasks that are assigned to us instead of looking towards what others are doing,” he said. “The RSS, as an organisation, continues with its work without worrying about criticism and allegations.”