Satya Pal Malil made a veiled reference to two former chief ministers. (File)
Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik on Thursday courted a fresh controversy by accusing the state’s political leaders of wanting to get “youths killed” to “blackmail” Delhi and keep it “under pressure”.
Addressing a Kissan Mela in Akhnoor, the governor also said Prime Minister Narendra Modi is ready to give everything that the people of Kashmir demand under the Constitution as he has love and respect for the people of the state.
“The leaders of Jammu and Kashmir want the youths get killed so that they keep New Delhi under pressure,” Mr Malik said while addressing the Kissan Mela.
“This misconception was cleared by me during the municipal and panchayat polls, and conveyed a message that New Delhi is not to come under pressure. New Delhi will not come under pressure of blackmail now. If bullets will be fired, no bouquets will be sent from here,” he said.
Mr Malik said by killing terrorists in Kashmir, no solution can be found and asked them to return to their mainstream.
“I am not for taking the lives of these children. If they come back, we are ready to do something for them. We are trying to find out some way,” he said.
In a veiled reference to two former chief ministers – Mehbooba Mufti of the People’s Democratic Party and Omar Abdullah of the National Conference, Mr Malik said “political parties have double standards. I am angry with them”.
He said breaking the protocol, he had reached out to Ms Mufti and Mr Abdullah, asking them to take part in the municipal and panchayat polls to empower the people, but the duo “opposed and boycotted”.
“I went to the houses of both after breaking my protocol. I went to the house of Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah. I asked them to take part in elections which will benefit and empower people. But they opposed it. They want their own empowerment not that of the people,” Mr Malik said.
Taking a dig at Mufti, he said even before confirmation of killing of a terrorist, one leader of a party goes to his home to condole the death. “How can this work?” governor asked.
The NC and the PDP hit back at Malik and questioned his stand on dissolving the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly. They termed his action as “unethical”.
Mr Abdullah asked the governor to “focus on his work and stop playing politics”.
“Please stop with the insults & snide remarks Mr Governor. They do not behove a person in your position. It is only my respect for the office you occupy that stops me from repeating what all you told me when we met. @jandkgovernor. Please stop playing politics & focus on your work,” Omar tweeted.
The PDP tweeted, “Not allowing a democratic government to function & talking of panchayat as empowerment of democracy without participation of people & parties! Dissolving assembly unethically is personal empowerment not boycott.”
About the prospects of the state elections, the governor said it is up to the Election Commission to decide on conducting the polls in the state.
“Whenever the polls will be announced by the Election Commission, we will hold free and fair polls in the state,” Mr Malik said.
The governor also hit out at out at separatist and mainstream leadership of Kashmir that all the leaders here and the Hurriyat conference know, nothing will come out of it (gun culture).
“Our Army is fighting with terrorists on the other side in the midnight in thick snow and people from villages are being collected on the calls from loudspeaker from mosque to engineer stone pelting and snatch bodies, surround vehicles, weapons. Then if anybody gets killed and then (they) resort to shutdown the Valley and call it atrocities,” he said, while hitting at Hurriyat.
Questioning their behaviour on instigating people, the governor said, “Where does it happen in the world that you target the Army and they will leave you? We will sternly suppress it.”
He asked the people to change their approach towards the Army and also change their ideology.
“…If anything has to happen, it is dialogue. Come and hold talks under the Constitution of India. You have separate flag and a separate Constitution here. But still raking up the issue,” he said.
Counselling Hurriyat, the governor said the Indian Army is the world”s fourth biggest Army. “After fight with it, (General Parvez) Musharraf has himself conveyed to the Hurriyat people that they should…hold talks with India under the Constitution of India,” he said.
He also asserted that there will not be any compromise on terrorism in Kashmir and said 300 terrorists cannot “break” India.
“I here again reiterate 300 boys (terrorists) cannot break India. They are nothing,” Mr Malik said, adding that “our army and forces are instrumental in eliminating two to three terrorists after every one to two days. Good things is that people have understood that gun cannot bring us anything”