Omar asks Geelani to identify Modi "emissaries"
After Separatist Hurriyat (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani claimed that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)'s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi had sought his support in solving the Kashmir issue by sending emissaries, Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah has now asked him to disclose the identities of those "emissaries".
"So SAS Geelani has claimed that NaMo sent emissaries to talk to him and other separatist leaders in Delhi, in SASG's case twice. Given BJP's position on Art370 and AFSPA can we know who these NaMo emissaries where and what was on offer? Why the secrecy?," Abdullah tweeted.
"So who is lying SAS Geelani or the NaMo campaign? Easy way to find out - let SASG identify the emissaries who met him on behalf of NaMo," he posted on his Twitter page.
Earlier, Geelani claimed that Narendra Modi had sought his support in solving the Kashmir issue.
"On Mar 22, two Kashmiri Pandits met me on Modi's behalf. They requested me to give my commitment to Modi that I will lend my support to him on the Kashmir issue," said Geelani.
"They said that if I am willing, then Modi will meet me. But I declined the offer since Modi comes from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) [Hindu nationalist group]," he added.
However, the BJP has rejected Geelani's claims.
"The BJP categorically rejects these reports. They are mischievous, without basis and are aimed at creating confusion among people. Mr. Geelani's statements are nothing but a bunch of lies with malicious intent," the BJP said in a statement.
"No emissary has either tried to meet or met Mr. Geelani to discuss the Kashmir issue. On the Kashmir issue, the BJP's stand is very clear- that Kashmir is an integral part of India and there cannot be any room for deliberations on this. The BJP has also time and again condemned the negative role played by leaders such as Mr. SAR Geelani, whose politics is a threat to the aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir," the party's statement said.
"If Mr. Geelani has made these claims, the onus lies on him to present the complete picture and name who were these individuals who met him on behalf of Shri Modi. If he fails to do so, which we are sure he will, he should apologize to the people of India," it said.
Pertinently, in its election manifesto, the BJP reiterated its stand on the Article 370 and promised it will discuss this with all stakeholders.
The party said it remains committed to the abrogation of this article.
Article 370 of the Constitution grants special autonomous status to Jammu and Kashmir.
(Posted on 21-04-2014)