July 2000 News

BJP, NC on collision course

6 July 2000
Times of India

New Delhi: The BJP and its alliance partner, the National Conference, appeared to be on a collision course on Thursday. While BJP spokesperson M Venkaiah Naidu alleged the NC had got the autonomy resolution passed by the Jammu & Kashmir Assembly to divert attention from its failures on the administrative front, Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah said the Union Cabinet had been ''misled'' on the issue and that he would continue with his battle for autonomy. On an ominous note, Naidu stressed that while the BJP wanted ''friendship with the NC'', the ''national interest'' was paramount for it and that ''when Jayalalitha started dictating terms to us, we said thank you and good bye''. Lashing out at Abdullah, he accused him of ''misgovernance and corruption'' and said the autonomy resolution was brought to ''divert the people''s attention from basic issues and to gain political advantage''. He went on to say that ''the problem is not (lack of) autonomy. The problem is Article 370, misgovernance, corruption and misutilisation of funds. The NC and not the BJP is in power in the state. They are responsible for illiteracy, poverty, unemployment and lack of development.'' He was speaking at a function to mark the birth anniversary of Jansangh founder-president Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, organised here by the Delhi unit of the BJP. Meanwhile, Abdullah told a TV channel that the rejection of the autonomy resolution by the Union cabinet could lead to growing alienation among the people of the state and vowed to continue the fight on the issue. ''I had thought maybe with this, alienation will be reduced and gradually finished...(but) I am sure it will grow....'' He said the Union cabinet had been ''misinformed'' on certain points and added that his party''s struggle for greater autonomy would continue. ''If I had to give up, I would have never started.''


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