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Omar remarks spark row

The BJP on Thursday decided to boycott the rest of the Jammu and Kashmir assembly session in protest against Chief Minister Omar Abdullah's speech raising questions on the Valley's "merger" with India. HT reports.

india Updated: Oct 08, 2010 02:41 IST

The BJP on Thursday decided to boycott the rest of the Jammu and Kashmir assembly session in protest against Chief Minister Omar Abdullah's speech raising questions on the Valley's "merger" with India.

There was violence in the assembly as legislators belonging to the BJP and Panthers Party jumped into the well of the House and raised slogans. House marshals took them out of the assembly.

On Wednesday Abdullah asserted in the assembly "we (Kashmiris) are not puppets (of the Centre)" and Kashmir had not "merged" with India in 1947 but "acceded" to it. "Kashmir is an issue between two neighbours … it is not an issue about development."

It is this part of Abdullah's statement that irked the BJP most but pleased hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani.

"None gave him the right to raise questions on Kashmir's accession to India," said BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain.

BJP leader Ashok Khajuria shouted while being forced out of the House: "Pakistani agenda nahi chalega, Hurriyat sarkar nahi chalegi (a Pakistan agenda and Hurriyat government are not acceptable)."

Geelani, however, said in a statement: "The fact of the Kashmir dispute is so stark that willingly or unwillingly Abdullah had to accept the fact that Kashmir is a (matter of) international dispute."

Though the Congress distanced itself from Abdullah's remark, the party supported his position of he not being a "puppet".

Congress General Secretary Digvijaya Singh said: "What do you expect him to say? Should he say he is a puppet? After all he is an elected chief minister."

BJP leader Chaman Lal Gupta said: "Four BJP members and one Panthers Party legislator were injured in the confrontation."

Panthers Party legislator Harsh Dev Singh said: "We object to what the chief minister said. Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India."

The BJP has become the second opposition party to boycott the session. The state's main opposition, People's Democratic Party, has already decided to stay away from the session.

With inputs from New Delhi