PDP cancels ‘mega rally’ in Srinagar as BJP refuses to announce outreach to separatists

PDP cancels ‘mega rally’ in Srinagar as BJP refuses to announce outreach to separatists

By NOOR-UL-QAMRAIN | SRINAGAR | 10 September, 2017

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti is upset that the Central Government has refused to announce any outreach to the separatists during Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s visit to the valley. Informed sources said that angry PDP leaders finally decided to cancel their mega rally in Srinagar after they did not get any nod from the BJP leadership to announce a “healing touch” for Kashmir.

All the preparations for the 10 September “mega rally” by the PDP have gone waste, as the BJP has refused to announce any outreach to the Hurriyat and Pakistan. 

Earlier reports said that Rajnath Singh would announce in this rally the plan to resolve the Kashmir dispute and would announce formal talks with Hurriyat and Pakistan.  

PDP sources told this newspaper that there was fresh unease between the BJP and the PDP. Sources said that earlier CM Mehbooba was assured by the top leadership of the BJP, including Rajnath Singh, that they would make path-breaking announcements to resolve the Kashmir dispute. CM Mehbooba was very confident and had directed her party workers to come to Srinagar for the rally, which was subsequently cancelled. Her confidence stemmed from the fact that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said on 15 August, while unfurling the Tricolour at the Red Fort, that his government was committed to restoring the lost glory of Kashmir and coined a new slogan “Na gaali, na goli, parivartan hoga gale laga ke (Neither bullets nor brickbats will solve the Kashmir issue, only love will)”.

Meanwhile, Rajnath Singh, before he started his four-day visit to J&K, said that he would come with an open mind and was ready to meet anyone who wished to meet him.  But a PDP leader, who spoke to this newspaper, contended that “No separatist leader will go and meet him unless there is a formal invite”. During his four-day visit, which began on Saturday, Rajnath Singh would be accompanied by many important officials including Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba.

A government statement said that Singh would review the use of Rs 80,000 crore Prime Minister’s Development Package and security situation in the state besides interacting with personnel of Jammu and Kashmir Police, CRPF and the BSF. The statement further said that Singh will chair a security review meeting in the presence of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who is also the Home Minister of the State.

Meanwhile, the Yashwant Sinha led group, which visited Kashmir, has released a report expressing their concern over people’s growing frustration with the unrest.

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