July 2000 News

Advani and Farooq deny Amar story

21 July 2000
The Asian Age

New Delhi: Dr Farooq Abdullah, chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, and Mr L.K. Advani, home minister of India, have both denied a story published in The Asian Age on Thursday that Mr Advani had advocated trifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir. The Asian Age correspondent Shahid Faridi wrote the story on the basis of a conversation with Mr Amar Singh, general secretary of Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav''s Samajwadi Party. Mr Amar Singh said that Dr Abdullah had told Opposition leaders that this was what Mr Advani had in mind, and wanted his support for the proposal. The Asian Age should have cross-checked this with either Mr Advani or Dr Abdullah, but did not do so, and offers its apologies to both. Speaking to The Asian Age from Delhi, Mr Advani expressed his shock and anger that anyone would attribute such a move to him. ''I have consistently opposed any such suggestion,'' Mr Advani said, ''even when it was proposed by a leader of the RSS.'' Trifurcation would be tantamount to political suicide, he added. Dr Abdullah, who spoke to the paper on the telephone from Chennai, was equally vehement in his denial, describing the remarks attributed to him by Mr Amar Singh, and quoted by this paper, as a ''pack of lies.'' ''Mr Advani never said anything of this kind when I met him; in fact he holds different views,'' Dr Abdullah added. He recalled that when Mr Advani had visited Leh for the Sindhu Darshan programme, he was shown a statement by a Jammu RSS leader advocating division of the state into three sections, which the home minister categorically rejected.


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