Centre, state committed to rehabilitation of Pandits: BJP
The Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday said the Centre and the state government were committed to the rehabilitation of the migrant Kashmiri Pandits.india Updated: Apr 13, 2015 21:31 IST
The Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday said the Centre and the state government were committed to the rehabilitation of the migrant Kashmiri Pandits.
"When we came to power at the Centre we said we want to rehabilitate the Pandit community, the Centre has already created a special fund for the purpose. The state government has also shown its commitment to the cause, so there is consensus on the issue,'' said BJP state incharge Avinash Rai Khanna.
He, however, said the modalities have to be worked out.
"The Centre, the Jammu and Kashmir government and the Kashmiri Pandits will sit together and work out the modalities,'' he added.
Reacting to the opposition on separate townships for the migrant community, Khanna said, "Only the state government, the central government and the Kashmiri Pandits are stakeholders and they will continue the consultation on rehabilitation,'' he said.
Later, however, he added that the opinion of the people of the state will also be considered.
The opposition and the separatists have criticised the plan to establish a separate township terming it "a conspiracy to create communal division by separating the region's population along the religious lines.'' However, the state government has said that the township will be "composite" and not exclusive for the Pandit community.
"Mufti Sayeed (CM) is the senior most politician in the state, he has shown commitment to the rehabilitation and he will surely find a way,'' he said.
He, however, did not comment on whether the party has given up on its demand on "separate homeland" for the Pandit community. Khanna also criticised MLA Engineer Rashid for issuing a statement asking the Kashmiri Pandits to apologise for migrating. "Why should Pandits apologise, they have done no wrong,'' he added.
Khanna was in Kashmir to start fresh membership drive for the party.
Meanwhile, Peoples Democratic Front president and MLA Khansahib Hakim Mohammad Yasin on Monday said that some people were playing politics over the issue at a time when Kashmir is trying to come out of the effects of last year's devastating floods.
"While the reality is that most of the Pandits don't want to return to the Valley, we are at loss to understand why this issue has been raked up at a time when tourism season has just begun in Kashmir? There is some reason behind it. We smell that the issue has been raked up to destabilise the economy of Kashmir," Hakim Yasin said in a statement to press.
"Instead of hue and cry over the issue, there is a need to finalise the modalities and see how many migrant Pandits want to return to the Valley. Those people who want to return should be settled in their respective areas instead of creating separate towns," the MLA said.