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Congress now appeasing separatists: BJP

india Updated: Aug 17, 2008 01:12 IST
Vikas Pathak
Vikas Pathak
Hindustan Times
Congress now appeasing separatists: BJP

The BJP on Saturday accused the Congress of “separatist appeasement” in the Amarnath land row in Kashmir – a distinct step ahead of its earlier charge of “minority appeasement”.

Senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley said the Centre, while handling the land row, made no effort to counter the separatist propaganda about “Hindu colonization” through the land allotment and, later, about an economic blockade by the Shri Amarnath Sangharsh Samiti.

Jaitley said, “To begin with, there was no effort by the Centre to fight the propaganda that it was a permanent, rather than a temporary land allotment.” He said, on the other hand, the samiti’s demand of re-allotment of land was rejected on the pretext that it would ultimately strengthen the separatists.

“The Centre argues that nationalist protests lead to reactions that strengthen separatists. Is India so fragile that it has to appease the separatists rather than marginalise them?” he retorted.

What’s more, when protests began in Jammu against the revocation of the order, there was a campaign in the Valley against an alleged economic blockade by Jammu protestors, which the Centre took eight days to counter, Jaitley said.

He added that the People’s Democratic Party -- which needed some hard-line posturing before elections in the state -- joined the protests in the Valley. But the Congress failed to counter the false campaign too.

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