Kashmir ex-CMs become semi-separatists out of power: Jitendra

New Delhi, Jun 16: Union Minister Jitendra Singh today said chief ministers in Jammu and Kashmir often turned into “semi-separatists” when out of power, a remark seen as a veiled attack on NC leader and former CM Farooq Abdullah.
Singh, questioning the “conviction” of separatists, said they drew privileges such as air ticket concessions, sought subsidised treatment in hospitals or “lobbied” for their offspring in Delhi’s “corridors of power”.
“Despite this, they refused to abide by the Constitution of India,” the minister said.
The MP from Udhampur in Jammu said separatism was never an “ideology” in Kashmir, but “more of a convenience than conviction”.
“Many of the mainstream parties (in the state)…when they are out of power become semi-separatists. When they are chief ministers they go to the extent of challenging the home minister of India (saying) why don’t you bombard the terror camps in Pakistan. Once they are shunted out of power, they become wiser overnight,” he said.
“I bet, you again restore them to power and again they will start swearing by India and swearing Jammu Kashmir as a part of India. So this is the character of separatism and semi-separatism,” the minister of state in the Prime Minister’s Office said.
His remarks were read as an attack on Abdullah, who was defeated in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. His son, Omar, who was heading the National Conference government in the state, also lost power in 2014.
Farooq Abdullah, elected from Srinagar in a by-poll in April this year, had recently spoken out in support of people who threw stones at security forces in the state.
In the past, too, Singh had accused Abdullah of speaking the “language of separatists”.
The minister was speaking at a seminar on the Indus water Treaty Conference organised by the Global Counter Terrorism Council.
He said had Jawaharlal Nehru as Prime Minister given “full control” to his Home Minister, Vallabhbhai Patel, to manage Kashmir, the situation would have been different today.
“Jammu and Kashmir became subject to a series of blunders and vested interests of the polity from time to time…History records what it describes as the infamous Nehruvian blunder over Kashmir,” he said.
He attacked the Congress, saying “those who have been at the helm of affairs for the last 60-70 years” cannot be “absolved” of responsibility.
“After all, the buck has to stop somewhere,” he added. He said in his conversation with Kashmiri youth, he asked them to listen to separatists, but also question them if their sons were among the stone pelters.
“They (separatists) want their neighbour’s child to become a stone pelter,” he said.
“I could read out the names of these families who are lobbying in the corridors of powers in Delhi to get their children enrolled in different services though they don’t subscribe to the Constitution of India,” he said.
He pointed out that 14 students from the Valley cleared the civil service examination this year and referred to 11 officers from Kashmir who recently graduated from the Indian Military Academy.
“This was the Kashmiri youth’s conviction in the Indian Constitution,” he said.
Meanwhile amidst demands from some quarters to abrogate the Indus Water Treaty with Pakistan in the wake of escalating tension, Dr Singh disapproved the option, saying the more important issue was how to utilise the water which India was entitled to under the treaty.
“The question here is not to stop water, but how to utilise it,” Dr Sing said here while speaking at a seminar at which previous speakers Maj Gen G D Bakshi and Prof Madhav Das Nalapat described the Treaty as very much against the national interest and called for its abrogation.
Dr Singh said “most of the Indus water was still going to Pakistan so instead of going into an aggressive mode, things should be in place at our side to make use of the water.”
Similar views were also expressed by former Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Secretary Shashi Shekhar, who said India was pathetic in not making use of even the water that has been allocated to it, and the reason for that is there was no infrastructure in place to store the water even if it was stopped from flowing to Pakistan.
The Seminar on the need of continuing the Treaty was organised by the Global Counter Terrorism Council.
Dr Jitendra Singh, who was the chief guest at the seminar, attacked all the decisions regarding Kashmir and Pakistan taken by the Nehru and the successive Congress government.
He said that “happenings following those decisions vindicated our stand, our criticism that based on sound logic.”
He also said partition and the Kashmir problem was the result of the political interest of a small group of people, as the creation of Bangladesh and the unrest in Balochistan and other parts of Pakistan had proved the failure of the “two-nation theory.”
He said today’s Kashmiri youth was ready to join the national mainstream as he was wise enough to see where their future lay, and it were only a handful of people who had a vested interest in promoting anti-India feeling. (Agencies)