Watch: ‘If Elected, Will Urge Government To Settle Kashmir Issue,” Yashwant Sinha In Srinagar

SRINAGAR: BJP’s erstwhile Finance Minister, now the combined candidate for opposition for the position of President of India said id he elected to the Rashtrapati Bhawan, he will urge the government to resolve the Kashmir issue permanently. Sinha, now a Trinamool Congressman, also heads the Concerned Citizen’s Group on Kashmir.

“If elected, I shall perform my duty as the custodian of the Constitution without fear or favour. One of my priorities would be to urge the government to take all necessary steps to resolve Kashmir issue permanently, and restore peace, justice, democracy, normalcy and holistic development to Jammu and Kashmir,” Sinha said in Srinagar.

Reading out from a statement, Sinha had an interaction with prominent political parties excluding the ones which are seen as closer to the BJP. Dr Farooq Abdulalh and Mehbooba Mufti were sitting on either side of the opposition’s presidential candidate.

Sinha is on a day-long visit to seek support even though there is no support available. Jammu and Kashmir will miss the election because it lacks the assembly and will not be participating. However, Sinha said his arrival to Srinagar was to extend support and show up solidarity with the PAGD, a loose alliance that seeks to undo of August 2019 decision-making.

Admitting that he was asked why he is flying to Srinagar when Jammu and Kashmir will not be representing in the election at all. “I told them I am going to Srinagar to highlight the injustice done to the people of Jammu and Kashmir. I would like the people of rest of India to know how their compatriots in Jammu and Kashmir have been robbed of their fundamental and democratic rights,” Sinha said. “They should know that Jammu and Kashmir cannot be won over by management.”

He had actually put in on his twitter: “The people of Jammu & Kashmir have been robbed of their democratic rights. Even though they are largely unrepresented in this Presidential election, I will be in J&K today to meet and engage with an integral part of India.”

Sinha said there is no will to fight out the injustice in Jammu and Kashmir. That is why, he said, there are no elections and an “unnecessary delimitation exercise was carried out which has done justice to none”. he added.

Deeply regretting that the Supreme Court has not begun hearing the petitions regarding the binning of Article 370, Sinha said three years have already been lost.

“Long pendency of constitutional cases erodes the credibility of the apex court,” Sinha said, insisting that the statehood of Jammu and Kashmir must be restored and free and fair elections to the assembly should be held at the earliest. “I am opposed to forcible and manipulative demographic change in Jammu and Kashmir.”

Yashwant Sinha, who is combined opposition candidate for Presidential election, had a detailed interaction with Kashmir political class in Srinagar on July 8, 2022.

Accusing the BJP led government at the centre of failing in its promise of creating conditions for the safe and dignified return and resettlement of Kashmiri Pandits, Sinha said the Prime Minister has made richer the history by talking about dil ki doori and Dilli ki doori (the distance between the hearts and the distance between Srinagar and Delhi).

“It must fulfil the promise not only for Kashmiri Pandits but also for all others who were forced to migrate out of Kashmir,” Sinha said.

Sinha criticized the personal attacks launched against the Kashmir leaders. “All our people who are present here, including Farooq Sahab, Mehbooba Ji, no bigger patriot in the country than them,” Sinha said. “If these are not patriotic, then none of us have the right to claim patriotism towards our country.”

India will be polling for the presidential polls on July 16 and the results will be out of July 21. The electoral college comprises 4809 electors comprising MPs and MLAs.

Before reading out his statement, Sinha started with his condolences to the families who lost their family members during the Amarnath pilgrimage. He hoped that the government will come out with facts of the tragedy at the earliest.

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