Describing as unfortunate the J&K BJP’s in-charge and party’s national vice-president Avinash Rai Khanna’s stand that my statements demanding trifurcation of the state into Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh States for “ending alienation in Jammu” are “disturbing and communal” and I am playing “dirty” role using the party’s name, senior BJP leader and former political advisor to J&K BJP president, Prof Hari Om, on Friday said that Khanna has not done justice with him, the RSS, Governor of Goa Prof O P Kohli and the state BJP leaders, including Deputy Chief Minister and former party president Nirmal Singh, Forest Minister Bali Bhagat and MLC and former party president Ashok Khajuria.
I have been religiously and with a single-minded devotions serving the BJP for more than two decades and also propagated the party’s ideology at the state, national and international levels through my writings, he said, adding that he is a senior member of the party, who has served it as its vice-president, chief spokesperson and member of the party’s core and election committees and prepared not one but three election manifestos for J&K BJP in 2002, 2008 and 2014. The 2002 and 2008 election manifestos did talk about reorganization/trifurcation of the state and vouched for a dispensation for Jammu Pradesh that was invested with adequate administrative and financial powers, he said, adding that even Arun Jaitley, presently Union Finance Minister, and myself had prepared a note at the Delhi residence of the former that demanded for Jammu Pradesh a political apparatus invested with full administrative and financial powers, which was made public in Jammu during the press conference addressed by me.
“The J&K unit of the BJP unanimously adopted three resolutions on reorganization/trifurcation of J&K when Nirmal Singh and Ashok Khajuria headed the state unit. All these resolutions were prepared and moved by me, which were seconded by Bali Bhagat, Chander Mohan Sharma and Shamsher Singh Singh Manhas, in the presence of Prof O P Kohli and Manohar Lal, presently Chief Minister of Haryana, and adopted unanimously,” claimed Prof Hari Om while commenting on the Khanna’s unfortunate tirade against him.
“Being an outsider Khanna, unfortunately, doesn’t know anything about the state of J&K and the political aspirations, needs and compulsions of the people of the suppressed, persecuted, neglected and marginalized people of Jammu Pradesh, as also about the political history of struggles in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh,” he said, adding that the suffering people of Jammu province have not given the mandate to any leader from outside Jammu Pradesh to speak for and on their behalf and that the people of Jammu Pradesh are the masters of their own destiny.
“The people of Jammu Pradesh shall decide their own fate and that, too, within India and under the Indian Constitution, barring Article 370 that empowers the Valley’s leadership to exercise unbridled legislative, executive and financial powers, denies the people of the state the rights which are available to their counterparts in the rest of the country, throws in the lot of the minorities and refugees from Pakistan with the regressive and intolerant Kashmiri leadership and creates doubts in the minds of the international community about the political status of J&K vis-à-vis India,” said Prof Hari Om.
He further added that Khanna has not only dubbed the local BJP leadership as communal by terming its demand for trifurcation of the state as disturbing and communal, but also lowered the position of the RSS, which in 2002 adopted a resolution at Kurukhestra demanding separation of Jammu Pradesh from Kashmir Valley and founded Jammu State Morcha (JSM) to contest the Assembly elections that year in the region on the slogan of statehood for Jammu Pradesh.
“RSS ideologue MG Vaidya was one of the main speakers in the seminars on trifurcation of J&K, which were organized in Jammu and Delhi in which I was also one of the main speakers,” revealed Prof Hari Om to put things in right perspective and make the BJP national vice-president aware of the true picture of facts. How could the BJP’s support to the demand in Ladakh for Union Territory status is secular and how could the demand in Jammu Pradesh for statehood communal and disturbing when both mean division of the state? He asked. “The BJP won the Leh Council elections hands down on October 23 only because it sought and got the mandate from the region on the UT status plank,” he said, adding that BJP did a right thing to promise UT status to the neglected region.
Prof Hari Om expressed the hope that Khanna will withdraw his statement against him and strengthen the BJP in Jammu Pradesh by appreciating the Jammu mandate. He also urged the state BJP leadership to hand over to Khanna those political resolutions which demanded reorganization/trifurcation of the state so that he revised his opinion and work in the best interests of the suffering people of Jammu Pradesh who brought the BJP into power in the state. He reiterated that separation of Jammu Pradesh from Kashmir is the need of the nation and exigency of the time, saying a strong Jammu Pradesh was needed to defeat the separatists and soft secessionists in Kashmir like the Muftis, the Abdullahs, the Sozs, the Mirs and the Tarigamis.
He also reassured the party leadership that he will continue to preach the BJP ideology even if it means his expulsion from the party he has been serving for more than two decades now, saying he has no personal axe to grind and that his sole purpose is to strength the BJP in Jammu Pradesh so that it could counter the anti-India, anti-Jammu and anti-Ladakh games which are played by the Kashmiri leaders of all shades of opinion. He also urged the party leadership to snap ties with the PDP, which is subverting the polity both from within and outside to muddy the Indian waters in Kashmir.