The Congress on Thursday declined to comment on senior leader Mani Shankar Aiyar’s meeting with Hurriyat leaders in Jammu and Kashmir, saying the party has never backed separatists and does not recognise those who are “unelectable and unrepresentative”.
“I shall not comment on individual citizens’ actions. We are commenting about the government, what they are doing, how they are engaging, do they have a roadmap. That is of paramount importance,” said Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma when asked about Aiyar meeting Hurriyat leaders.
“Congress’ position is unequivocally clear. I can only talk about Congress policy from the Congress platform. We have never recognised those who are unelectable and unrepresentative,” he added.
Asked if there should be talks with the Hurriyat, Sharma said: “We have never backed them. Only the elected representatives or the elected government and others within the civil society should be the main stakeholders.”
However, he also said there are many leaders of the BJP who have gone there and met the Hurriyat leaders.
“There are senior leaders of the BJP who are meeting them (Hurriyat) and their family members are ministers in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government. The Prime Minister is silent about it.”
Hitting out at the government, Sharma said the BJP has “displayed naked political opportunism” in forming the coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir with the Peoples Democratic Party, which he said, has “miserably mis-performed and been unable to handle the situation”.
“It is a matter of national concern. We have been saying repeatedly that if the Prime Minister has a plan or a roadmap he should at least sit with the principal leaders of the opposition because these are issues of national security and India’s territorial integrity on which there cannot be two opinions,” he added.
“When it comes to these issues, India speaks in one voice,” said Sharma.