On Kashmir, Will Follow Resolutions Passed in Parliament, Says PM Modi

Prime Minister addressing the Upper House of the Parliament.

New Delhi:  Prime Minister Narendra Modi today stepped in to break the tension over ally People’s Democratic Party patron and J&K Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s controversial statement, which has drawn repeated Opposition fire.

During his speech at the Rajya Sabha, PM Modi said, “I want to assure the 1.25 billion people of India… We will not go by anyone’s statement, we will run the government on the Common Minimum Programme… We have a zero-tolerance policy towards terrorism.”

Indicating that the government intends to put behind the matter and move ahead, he said, “If anyone gives a statement anywhere, and we have to answer… we won’t go in that direction. For us, we will move forward with our policies.”

PM Modi’s comments came hours after Union home minister Rajnath Singh clarified yet again in Parliament that the government did not endorse the Mr Sayeed’s statement that Hurriyat, militant outfits and “people from across the border” – an oblique reference to Pakistan – “allowed conducive atmosphere” for the polls.

The vociferous Opposition repeatedly disrupted the proceedings in Lok Sabha, seeking clarification from PM Modi.

“The government in J&K was formed on a Common Minimum Programme and it will run on the Common Minimum Programme… Our faith is in the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” the Prime Minister said.

“We want to assure the people of India that we will follow the resolutions that have been passed in Parliament on Kashmir in letter and spirit,” he added in conclusion.

The reference to the resolution on Kashmir was an interesting twist in PM Modi’s clarification.

The resolution he referred to was passed by Parliament on February 22 1994, during PV Narasimha Rao’s tenure as prime minister. It was later ratified again during Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s regime.

PM Modi used the resolution passed by a Congress government to silence the party, which is leading the tirade against the BJP on Mr Sayeed’s comment.

The resolution has two key points – it rules against any interference in the internal affairs of Kashmir and paints Pakistan as an illegal occupant of Indian territory.RelatedOpinion: Budget 2015: Sound Economics, Disappointing PoliticsOpinion: Budget 2015 – Sound Economics, Disappointing PoliticsPrime Minister Targets UPA Over Black Money, Says ‘There Was an Attempt to Save Somebody’