The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday made it clear that the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in Jammu and Kashmir is the pressing need and it's only the army's prerogative to take a call on it.
Rajya Sabha MP and Jammu and Kashmir Bharatiya Janata Party incharge Avinash Rai Khanna said that the reports appeared in the media were misquoted and the Act is required in the state.
"It is the army's decision to see whether the Act should be applied or not as per the security conditions prevailing in the state," said Avinash Rai Khanna, while talking to the Hindustan Times.
The BJP recently has come under target from various political parties in the state for its reported 'softening stance' on various issues, including Article 370, renaming of the state as Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, and the proposal to cut short the assembly's tenure to five years instead of six, in the run-up to the polls.
"There will be no need for the controversial Act (AFSPA) during our rule in the state," BJP's Kashmir in-charge Ramesh Arora had told reporters at a press conference on Monday.
He had also criticised chief minister Omar Abdullah for not taking steps to do away with AFSPA despite being the head of the unified command of various security agencies. On Article 370, he said it was up to the people of the state to decide on its abrogation.
However, clearing its Kashmir in-charge's statement, Party MP and state president Jugal Kishore Sharma said that the BJP would usher the state into peace and tranquility where draconian laws may not find any relevance.
"We mean that Jammu and Kashmir would turn peaceful after the BJP takes over power in the state where draconian laws would not be needed. This never meant that we would infringe upon the prerogative of the security forces. It is up to the army only to see whether the AFSPA needs to be there or not," clarified Jugal.
Though the party seems to have given a calculated rejoinder to Arora's statement on the Act, people in Jammu have already started making sense out of its 'apparent Kashmir-centric electoral schemes' which they feel has already dented the aspirations of the people.
"The party has tailored itself to the election dynamics and has again befooled the Jammu people. Days are not far away when it will sink in the state," said Upainder Krishan, 65, a wholesale merchant in Jammu west constituency, that goes to polls on December 20.