NC forcing BJP to support separate Jammu state: Nirmal
16 March 2004
The Hindustan Times
Press Trust of India
Jammu: Accusing main opposition National Conference of politicising the Bill disqualifying a woman from being a permanent resident if she marries a person outside the state, Jammu and Kashmir BJP president Nirmal Singh on Tuesday threatened that NC's game plan will force BJP to support separate statehood for the Jammu region. 'NC has been exploiting sentiments of Kashmir people by launching a propaganda over women's Bill. The politicising of the Bill by NC has made BJP to think in terms of supporting the idea of separate Jammu state,' Singh told reporters in Jammu. Singh, who is also BJP candidate for Jammu- Poonch parliamentary constituency in J&K, warned that it is to mislead the innocent women of Kashmir in its desperate bid to outwit the equally 'anti-women' PDP of Mehbooba Mufti and win Lok Sabha elections in the Valley. Singh said the Monday's pro-women Bill NC rally in Srinagar has shocked all right-thinking people, who believe in gender equality and wish close and cordial relations between the state and the rest of the country. This has made the BJP to think in terms of supporting the idea of separate Jammu state in order to protect secular ethos in the region and defend and promote its general political and economic rights, he said. He asserted that the separatist and communal Article 370 has nothing to do with the state subject definition of 1927, which does not provide for gender discrimination. NC is misinterpreting Article 370 to hoodwink Kashmir people. Singh called upon BJP workers to work out a strategy for the upcoming parliamentary elections. He also urged them to prepare for the electoral battle and contribute to the success of mission 2004 and enable the party to win 30 seats on its own. He expressed the hope the BJP would not only win both the seats in Jammu region with huge margin but also spring a surprise by capturing a couple of seats in other parts of the state. Singh said the Congress-Panthers Party- PDP coalition government has become thoroughly unpopular because of its anti-people policies and the women Bill has finally sealed the political fate of all these formations. He also expressed his happiness over the enthusiasm with which the people, including the Muslims, are joining the BJP and strengthening the hands of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee against the 'rudderless, leaderless and confused Congress'.