For the first time, spelling out its stand on the political problem of Kashmir, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Yogendra Yadav on Monday said his party is for “granting autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir and other states too” and “solution to Kashmir lies within the constitution”.
Speaking at an election rally in central Kashmir’s Budgam district, Yadav, a known psephologist and political commentator, said, “Every state should be given right to draft their policies as per its need. AAP believes that not only for the prosperity of J&K, but every Indian state should have its own autonomy.”
The AAP has been steering clear of sparking any controversy on Kashmir issue.
Yadav’s stand on Monday once again reflected the party’s ambiguity as it failed to come up with any specifics to end the Kashmir problem and banked on broad generalisations.
Ruling out third party mediation on the Kashmir issue, he said, “There is no need of any third party to resolve the Kashmir dispute and matter can be resolved amicably within the parameters of Indian Constitution.”
He said an honest approach is required to solve the issue. “People of Kashmir should be heard. They should not feel alienated,” added Yadav.
He said political parties are using the Kashmir dispute as an excuse for the lack of development in the valley. “AAP is here to address grievances of people that have gone unheard so far,” he said.
Commenting on the recent incidents of blasts, Yadav said, “There are apprehensions that mainstream politicians are themselves involved in these blasts. Many believe that mainstream politicians are themselves carrying these blasts.”
Asking people to participate in the polls, the AAP leader said, “No matter even if people choose NOTA option but at least they should practice their fundamental right.”
Taking on BJP’s political position on Kashmir, AAP’s Yadav rejected the forces pushing for abolition of Article 370.
“AAP believe in Swaraj. In Swaraj, every village, district, state should have the power to decide for its betterment. Article 370 is a part of Swaraj,” he said.
Yadav also described “militarization as a sign of weakness of India in Kashmir”. “In real democracy, there is no need of military strength. It is used for external threats and it should remain confined to it,” he said.
The AAP leader called for decrease in the army's footprints in the valley. “Military presence in Kashmir should be as much as in Punjab, Haryana or in any other state of India,” he said.
AAP has fielded a well-known RTI activist Raja Muzaffar for the Srinagar parliament seat. He will take on National Conference’s Farooq Abdullah and Peoples Democratic Party’s Tariq Hameed Karra.