‘Rahul Gandhi only hope of a united secular India’
Senior Congress leader and former Union Minister Saif-ud-din Soz Wednesday said if the present situation continues in the State no difference would be left between the mainstream and separatist parties.
Addressing a press conference at his residence, Soz said the prevalent situation on the ground would sooner than later compel mainstream parties to look beyond the “present boundaries”.
He said the decision of the National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party to boycott the polls is an outcome of the “sinister designs” of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
He said NC and PDP were both compelled by their workers to not contest the Municipal and Panchayat elections even though these elections are beneficial for any State under normal circumstances.
Hitting out at PDP president Mehbooba Mufti, Soz said after losing power she revealed how Prime Minister Narendra Modi went back on his promise of keeping the issue of Article-35A in cold storage.
“There is no difference between RSS and BJP. They are same,” Soz said, adding the youth of the Valley picking up guns is a result of the continuous imposition of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).
He said AFSPA has only brought “death and destruction” to the people of the State.
“The mainstream must come together to seek revocation of AFSPA.”
Soz said RSS is conspicuously pursuing its plans to turn India into a ‘Hindu Rashtra’ which is evident from the statements of the RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat regarding a ‘Yakut Bharat’.
“The Indian civil society has fallen to very bad times since the RSS led BJP government took over in 2014,” Soz said.
He said by exhibiting unity in protests against possible tinkering with Article 35-A, people of the State have won the first battle against the forces trying to perpetuate the “Akhand Bharat of Hindus only”.
“I cannot live in such an India,” Soz said.
“Rahul Gandhi is the only hope of a united secular India,” he said, adding that Uttar Pradesh would decide who forms the new government in 2019.
“The social engineering of Rahul (Gandhi) and Akhilesh (Yadav) would work out well for the downfall of BJP in UP,” he said.
He said the RSS has clandestinely dragged the issue of the special status of Jammu Kashmir to the courts.
“They are now trying to snatch the special rights we enjoy. But then their act has become a blessing in disguise for us as we are united to defend all their overt and covert operations,” he said.
He said the people of the State should jointly defend the Article 35-A in and outside the court.
“A good lawyer must be engaged to defend our case by the civil society,” he said.
On Congress party’s decision to contest the upcoming Municipal and Panchayat polls, Soz said the party has stakes in all three regions of the State and the people are the best judges of every decision.
He said the government of India has failed to reach the minds of the people of the State, particularly youth.
“Even the Taliban are now being reached out to,” he said.
He said Lieutenant General D.S Hooda of India’s army has been continuously stating that use of force in Kashmir won’t help in solving the problem.
“There is no magic bullet in Kashmir to solve any problem.”