Condemning the NC-Congress coalition government for jumping on to the separatists’ bandwagon and banning the age-old Kounsar Nag Yatra for appeasing the fanatics and anti-India forces, BJP state general secretary Bali Bhagat on Saturday warned that the communal politics of the coalition of NC, Congress and separatists could culminate into major political explosions across the country and urged the pro-separatist state government to allow the yatra from the original route. Congress ministers have no moral and political right to continue in office, as they have again failed the minorities, he said, and demanded that they must put in their papers to assuage the hurt feelings of the Hindus.
“Kounsar Nag Yatra is not a new phenomenon; it is an ancient yatra. The holy lake is worshipped by the Hindus since times immemorial and it is connected with God Vishnu. Even Sultan Zain-ul-Abidin (Badshah) had in 1463 AD traversed a long distance from Bijbehara (vijayeseswara) to Kounsar Nag to express solidarity with Kashmiri Hindus. Ban on yatra is a deliberate attempt of the NC-Congress coalition government to outrage the sensitivities of the Hindus across the world in general and Kashmiri Pandits in particular and polarize the society for political gains,” he said during the press conference, and added that the BJP will not allow anyone in Kashmir to vitiate the atmosphere in the state. “Why should the Kashmiri Pandits come to Reasi to undertake yatra from there to Kounsar Nag,” he asked. The Lake is sacred for Kashmiri Hindus and it is for them to choose any route, he further said. Prof Hari Om, Political advisor to the BJP State President and State spokesperson Lalit Moza (Adv.) were also present in the press conference.
Bali charged the NC and the Congress with dancing to the tunes of the fanatics and pro-Pakistan elements like Geelani for vote-bank politics and said that such regressive and out-and-out communal politics will not help them in any manner. He asserted that by banning the yatra under pressure from the intolerant fanatics in Kashmir, the NC-Congress coalition has endorsed the communally-motivated charge of Geelani that the “Kounsar Nag yatra is the Government of India’s conspiracy against Kashmir” and “is a cultural aggression of the Hindus on Muslim Kashmir” and added that the NC-Congress coalition will have to pay a very heavy price for the crime it committed against the nation by denying the Kashmiri Pandits their natural right to undertake the annual Kounsar Nag yatra.
The BJP general secretary also refuted the version of the Kashmir-based Congress minister and Tourism Minister G A Mir that the government had not granted permission for the yatra and said the fact is that the Kulgam administration did in writing grant permission for four-day-long yatra from July 31 to August 3. He pooh-poohed the claim of the fanatics, who are backed to the hilt by the NC-Congress coalition government, that the yatra would pollute the environment and disturb the area’s ecology and asked them to see what they have done to Dal Lake, Nigeen Lake and other lakes in Kashmir.
“It was not their concern for ecology and environment that made the separatists and mainstream NC and Congress leaders joined hands against the Kounsar Nag yatra; it was their well-calculated attempt to outrage the sensitivities of the minority community, give further fillip to the ongoing process of radicalization in Kashmir and communalize and polarize the society on communal lines,” Bhagat further said, and added Kashmir belongs as much to the Kashmiri Muslims as to the Kashmiri Hindus and all other Indians. He appealed to the people of the state to join the BJP’s crusade against communal and separatist forces in the Valley to protect and promote the interests of the minorities and the country as a whole. “The formation of BJP government in the state is imperative if the state is to remain intact and regressive forces comprehensively defeated,” he further said. He expressed the hope that good sense would prevail and the NC-Congress coalition government would undo the grave wrong it committed to please separatists by offending minorities. He also appealed to the BJP-led NDA Government at the Centre to rein in Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, who has been consistently creating problems for India in Kashmir by flirting with separatists.