Statement out of turn, says Cong; NC says not his mandate; Rasheed terms JK a controlled democracy; PDP plays cool
Day after Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) General Secretary and point-man on Kashmir, Ram Madhav said that a new Governor would be appointed in the State by the end of August, the mainstream political parties in the state Tuesday questioned on the authority of Madhav to make such a statement while holding no official position.
Congress Working Committee member, Tariq Hameed Karra said the out of turn statement of Madhav was a part of the ‘Shakha culture’ institutionalised by the BJP since 2014.
“Anybody can speak anything against anyone under this government. In one of his statements he also spoke against the Indian Army. What right does the RSS chief have to ridicule the Indian Army,” Karra said. “Even then the BJP audaciously claims that RSS is a disciplined organisation.”
He said BJP had made sure that obnoxious statements feel normal in the public discourse.
“Today Amit Shah speaks for government and even for the Prime Minister. At times, the Prime Minister speaks for the party,” said Karra, a political heavyweight, who defeated three-time chief minister Farooq Abdullah in 2014 parliamentary polls and later resigned and left Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which was in coalition with BJP in the State.
“We belong to a place where we aren’t accustomed to this Shakha culture,” he said.
National Conference (NC) Provincial President, Kashmir, Nasir Aslam Wani said he was surprised when such a statement came from a party functionary who was not part of any government either in the State or at New Delhi.
“It is the domain of the incumbent office bearers in the State or New Delhi,” he said. “A statement concerning the appointment of constitutional functionaries from Ram Madhav is beyond his mandate.”
He said Government of India needs to see how Madhav is privy to such discussions as there had been no precedent of such a sort where a party general secretary knows and comments about the appointment of the Governor.
Peoples Democratic Party Chief Spokesman, Rafi Ahmad Mir said normally such a news should come from the government instead of a party functionary.
“Usually that is what happens but now that he belongs to the ruling party, he might have got information about it and commented,” Mir said. “As per the procedure it should come from the government.”
About Madhav’s statement regarding the continuation of Governor’s rule in the State, he said that part of his statement was normal as it was their party’s stand.
Independent lawmaker from Langate, Engineer Rasheed said Jammu Kashmir being a controlled democracy was bound to see such people making these statements.
“Right from 1947, we have had remote-controlled chief ministers as well. So these statements are normal for us now,” he said.
Rasheed said Madhav’s statement was the continuity of the system which had been there since 1947.
“This is nothing new,” he said.
On Monday, Madhav said Jammu Kashmir would get a new Governor later this month as, in a couple of weeks, the incumbent Governor’s term ends after 10 years.
“The government can think about the future, take what steps it thinks are best. I assume there will be a new governor soon,” the Print quoted Madhav as having said.
According to the report, names of Maharashtra Governor C Vidyasagar Rao, a “committed activist of the RSS” for several decades, and Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) and former home secretary Rajiv Mehrishi are being touted as possible successors to N Vohra.
Quoting sources, the report said there had been differences of opinion between Vohra and the BJP leadership, especially around the restoration of the assembly and Article 35-A, which outlines the special privileges residents of Jammu Kashmir are entitled to.
On government formation in the State, Madhav said: “Right now we prefer to continue governor’s rule in J&K. We are in favour of continuing the State of suspended animation of the assembly. But we will have to see how politics happens.”