Azad asks BJP to tread carefully on Kashmir

New Delhi, Dec 26 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party should not rush to form a government in Jammu and Kashmir and take care of the “sensitivity” of the state’s people, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said here Friday.

Azad, a former chief minister of the state, said BJP was given the mandate to give good governance and not to become “Alexander”.
“It is very sad that there was a fractured mandate in Jammu and Kashmir… What I am concerned about is that the BJP is being insensitive as far as Jammu and Kashmir is concerned,” Azad said during an interaction with women journalists at Indian Women Press Corps.
“They (BJP leaders) have camped in Srinagar, what is the rush,” he asked.
“People voted for them so that they do something good for the country. They are not doing that work… People did not vote for them so that they become Alexander and conquer whole country,” said Azad.
“Areas like Jammu and Kashmir and northeast are sensitive. It (the BJP) should not rush with saffronisation of these areas. Should the BJP go out of the way to form a government, they will be inviting trouble,” he said.
“It is not Gujarat, Maharashtra or Bihar. Even local leaders have to think twice before they speak. There are people who are always ready to exploit the situation,” he said.
Asked what kind of trouble he was talking about, Azad refused to elaborate.
Azad also cited the example of former prime minister Indira Gandhi, who made way for Sheikh Abdullah to be the state’s chief minister even though the Congress had a majority.
He said the Peoples Democratic Party-National Conference-Congress combination would be good for the state as it will give a stable government as well as representation from all parts of the country.
He, however, added that they are in no hurry.
“Let the PDP take its time, it has good leaders and it will decide what is best for the state,” he said.
On the re-conversion issue, which stalled the Rajya Sabha for several days in the winter session, Azad, who is the leader of opposition in the upper house, said the silence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue was in a way supporting it.
“The prime minister is the head of the family. If the children are doing something wrong, he must not close his eyes to it like Dhritrashtra,” Azad said.
“If he continues to be silent over the issue, it means he is supporting it.”
Besides, he said the reported cut in health budget will take India back in the sector.