Ahead of launching party’s Lok Sabha campaign, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has once again raised the issue of ‘safe’ return and rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits in Kashmir valley.
Interacting with the mediapersons here at party headquarters in Jammu on Sunday, BJP national general Secretary Ram Madhav said, “The BJP has prepared a road map for the community’s return and rehabilitation and it will be implemented only when the situation in the Valley turns conducive”.
“When we formed an alliance Government in the State, we had a road map for them. We had tried to set up townships for Kashmiri Pandits at five or six places in the Valley and it goes to the credit of the Mufti Mohammad Sayeed Government that those places were also identified,” he said.
He said further progress in the matter was derailed mainly because of the prevailing security situation in the Valley. “Even today, it does not seem that they will be able to live in peace there,” Madhav said.
“However, we are committed to safeguard their interests and political rights,” he said, adding that the next step would be taken after discussions with the Kashmiri Pandit leadership.
The BJP had earlier attempted to start the process as it had accorded top priority to the issue of their return in its election manifesto of 2014.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had even directed then Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed to initiate process to bring back Pandits for settlement in “composite townships”.
Separatists and mainstream political parties in Kashmir, including Congress, had opposed the move.
The BJP’s former alliance partner PDP had also explained that they won’t allow Israel-like ghettos for Pandits.
Commenting on the possibility of forging any pre-poll alliance in the State, Madhav said while his party would most likely go it alone in the upcoming Jammu and Kashmir Assembly elections.
“There is the least possibility of a pre-poll alliance with any party for the Assembly elections in the State. The BJP will emerge (as) the largest party after the elections and will give a stable Government to the people with some friends,” Madhav told reporters here.
Due to the special circumstances in the State, “we have no hesitation in joining hands with others” to form the Government, he said.
The BJP leader said Prime Minister Narendra Modi will kick start the party’s campaign for upcoming parliamentary and Assembly polls in the State during his visit on February 3.
“While the parliamentary elections are scheduled for April-May, the BJP is ready for the Assembly polls in the State as well. It is up to the Election Commission to decide whether the two polls are held together or separately,” Madhav said.