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Speak less, Cong to interlocutors

The Congress is "upset" with the Kashmir interlocutors for their recent reported controversial statements and has advised them to "speak less and work more".

india Updated: Oct 29, 2010 00:45 IST
Aurangzeb Naqshbandi

The Congress is "upset" with the Kashmir interlocutors for their recent reported controversial statements and has advised them to "speak less and work more".

The party is also of the opinion that the panel should avoid interacting with the media directly and called for appointing a spokesperson, who could articulate their views keeping in mind the sensitivity of the issue.

The "uncalled for and avoidable" statements have visibly embarrassed the Congress and put it on the defensive. Party mangers feel that such statements will give the BJP ammo to attack the Congress in the winter session of parliament, beginning November 9.

While Dileep Padgaonkar called for discussing Kashmir with Pakistan, Radha Kumar suggested amending the Constitution to incorporate the aspiration of Kashmiris that includes ‘azadi’.

Though the BJP has been embarrassed by its own member Ram Jethmalani, it attacked Kumar on Thursday. "The Constitution is an important instrument both for Indian democracy as also for national integration," BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said. "It can never be allowed to become a charter for incorporating the sentiments of 'azadi'

The BJP has also asked PM Manmohan Singh to explain if the interlocutors have the mandate to make such statements.

The Congress has now asked the interlocutors, particularly Padgaonkar and Kumar, to be more careful in their choice of words. But officially the party has so far defended them. "They are very eminent and competent individuals... They would be the best people to propound upon their articulations," spokesman Manish Tewari said.