Unease In Cong Over Statements Of Interlocutors On Kashmir28 October 2010
The Hindustan Times
New Delhi: There is unease in the Congress over the alleged 'controversial' statements of the Centre-appointed interlocutors on Kashmir with a section of the party feeling that they should be more careful in their choice of words. Giving an indication to this effect, a senior party leader said on condition of anonymity that the interlocutors are dealing with a sensitive subject and they need to be careful in choosing their words. When asked if the mandate of the interlocutors was to go beyond the Constitution of India while seeking a solution to Kashmir issue, one of the interlocutors Professor Radha Kumar had said, 'Constitution is such a beautiful and flexible document that it has been amended over 100 times. Why cannot it be done again if there is consensus on it?' Eminent Journalist Dileep Padgaonkar, who heads the team of interlocutors, had said that ideally a solution to Kashmir issue should be acceptable to people from all parts of the state including those under the occupation of Pakistan. He had also said that a dialogue with Pakistan is as necessary as the dialogue with people of J-K to resolve the Kashmir issue. The main opposition party BJP has attacked the interlocutors saying they are exceeding their briefs. Congress leaders feel that such statements by interlocutors will give political fodder to the BJP, which is now silent as it is embarrassed with its own leader Ramjethmalani opposing the party line and supporting Padgaonkar. 'It's good that Ramjethmalani has silenced them otherwise they would have jumped at us,' a party leader said adding that there was no point in speaking unnecessarily over issues that lead to controversies. Party spokesperson Manish Tewari when asked to comment on the statements of Padgaonkar and Kumar, however, merely said, 'They are very eminent people. They would be the best people to really propound upon their articulations'.