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Patel was happy giving Kashmir to Pak; Nehru saved it: Soz

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New Delhi, Jun 25: Saifuddin Soz, former Congress minister and a prominent Kashmiri politician, has made a startling claim that Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was happy to let Kashmir go to Pakistan in exchange for Hyderabad and it was Nehru’s insistence that kept it with India.

Lord Mountbatten, the last viceroy of India, took Patel’s offer to Pakistan on the exact day the Indian Army landed in Srinagar to push back intruders from Pakistan in October 1947, Soz said on NDTV’s Walk The Talk show.

“From the very first day Sardar Patel was adamant that Kashmir should go to Pakistan. In the partition council, he tried his level best to convince Liaquat Ali to take Kashmir and leave Hyderabad-Deccan,” Soz said.

 

“There was a fight, Sardar Mohammed Ali and our Reddy were there. Sardar Patel told Liaquat Ali, don’t even talk about Hyderabad-Deccan. It isn’t even connected with Pakistan. You leave Hyderabad to us, and take Kashmir.

“I will tell you a very fascinating story,” Soz said. “When our army landed in Srinagar, the same afternoon Mountbatten went to Lahore. There was a dinner with Governor of Pakistan, Liaquat Ali Khan, and four Pakistan ministers. Mountbatten said, I have brought a message from the strongman of India, Sardar Patel. Take Kashmir and forget Hyderabad-Deccan, it’s not even connected with you.”

“But as Sardar Shaukat Hayat Khan writes in his book,” Soz said, “Liaquat Ali neither understood history, nor geography.” So, he did not accept the offer.

Patel could not prevail, Soz said, because Nehru was very strong. His connection with Kashmir was very strong. He believed Kashmir should come to secular India, it will be safe here. He was very close to the National Conference. He had even come to address the Sopore session of the National Conference in 1945. He knew Kashmir’s history completely, he said.

Sheikh Abdullah had rejected the two-nation theory. He told his constituent assembly that Kashmir was independent from 15 August to 22 October, 1947. But once Pakistani raiders came it was clear that independence wasn’t possible.

He said the five countries around us, India, Pakistan, Russia, China and Afghanistan will never accept Kashmir’s independence. So that isn’t possible. Sheikh Abdullah writes this in his book, Soz said.

Sheikh Abdullah had no intention of going away from India, Soz added. He wanted to remain here “as long as India was secular, pluralistic and sympathetic to Kashmir. That’s how the Delhi agreement came.”

Unfortunately, Nehru was later voted out within his own cabinet, he said. He was forced to dismiss Sheikh Abdullah’s government and put him under detention. “He repented this and became a very lonely man. Sheikh Abdullah writes in his book that Dr Karan Singh, then Sadr-e-Riyasat, was one of the conspirators (against him) in 1953. The Constituent Assembly of Kashmir should have been allowed to continue. You ask Ram Jethmalani. Even he believes that. “

Soz said the Kashmir situation was ruined “mainly because small minds (like) Rafi Ahmed Kidwai, Ajit Prasad Jain around Nehru poisoned the environment. Then, political work was given over to even smaller minds in intelligence agencies. That continues even now.”

Soz said even now the only possible solution in the near-term is to talk to Hurriyat leaders. Young Kashmiris are angry, he said, you can’t talk to them. Force will not work, he said, “in a mood when two sons of a family have already died and the third has gone to join militancy.” (Courtesy ThePrint)


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New political parties floated in Kashmir

Mudassir Kuloo

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Srinagar, Mar 18: Ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, several new political parties have been floated in Kashmir.
The Lok Sabha election in the state will be held in five phases beginning April 11. The restive Anantnag parliamentary constituency, comprising Anantnag, Shopian and Kulgam districts, will go to the polls “in parts” in the third, fourth, and fifth phase. The assembly elections are expected to be held after that, although no announcement has been made so far.
For the last two weeks, several political parties have been created in a bid to make some changes in the political system of the state in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
The representatives of these parties are either disgruntled leaders of the existing political parties or people, who claim to bring a change in the “corrupt system” of the state.
On last Thursday, Syed Najeeb Nakvi announced contesting the upcoming elections from Baramulla constituency.
He said that he will fight against “increasing alienation” of youth. Nakvi was former Congress member and aide of Taj Mohiuddin.
Former member parliament Abdul Rashid Shaheen, and Sequib Rehman Makhdoomi have launched their party ‘Jammu Kashmir Awami Conference’.
Shaheen said that he launched his part to “give a platform” to Kashmiris to raise their issues. “We have already witnessed violence over the years. People can raise their issues. We have to get united and provide a common ground to Kashmiris.”
Another political party by the name of ‘Tehreek-e-Insaaf’ too has been recently launched.
Syed Mohammad Rafiq Shah (Former MLC) has launched ‘JK Bachao Tehreek’.
Bureaucrat-turned-politician Shah Faesal launched a political party on Sunday – the Jammu and Kashmir People’s Movement (JKPM) – with a promise to “bridge the distance between New Delhi and Islamabad in order to resolve the Kashmir dispute”.
“I have not come here to engage in traditional politics,” Faesal said while launching party in Srinagar. The ceremony was held inside a park in a park here at Rajbagh, which was festooned with banners and white flags carrying Faesal’s pictures. “This party doesn’t belong to any particular religion or group. It is people’s party, and I invite all of you, particularly the youth, to join us,” he said.
There are also reports that some independent candidates of the last elections may also float their own parties in the coming days.
Earlier, several political parties were launched to participate in the electoral process of the state.
To become a recognised political party either at the state or national level, a party has to secure certain minimum percentage of polled valid votes or certain number of seats in the state legislative assembly or the Lok Sabha during the last election.
There have been fears that most of such parties are used to ’round trip’ the black money into white.
The Election Commission of India had found that some of the parties were “no longer in existence or functioning”.
The Election Commission of India’s latest data on political parties, registered till March 9, a day before the Lok Sabha elections were announced, reveal that the country is having a total of 2,293 political parties.
They include seven “recognised national” and 59 “recognised state” parties.
In fact, 149 political parties were registered with the poll panel between February and March on the eve of the announcement of the poll schedule.
Till February this year, the country had 2,143 political parties registered with the Commission.

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ECI issues notification for B’la, Jammu seats

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Jammu, Mar 18: The Election Commission of India (ECI) Monday issued notification for General Elections to Baramulla and Jammu Parliamentary Constituencies.
As per the notification, last date of filing nominations has been fixed on March 25, while the scrutiny of papers will be held on March 26 and the last date of withdrawal of candidature is March 28 up to 3 PM.
Similarly, as per the notification polling for the two seats will be held on April 11, 2019. The voting hours has been fixed from 7:00AM to 6:00PM.
Meanwhile, notification for the first phase of the Lok Sabha elections was issued for other constituencies in the country as well setting in motion the high-voltage electoral battle where the BJP seeks to return to power amid opposition’s efforts to present a united fight to unseat it.
Polling would be held in 91 parliamentary constituencies spread across 20 states on April 11 under the first of the seven-phase general elections.
The Election Commission Monday issued a notification signed by President Ram Nath Kovind for the first phase of the election.
With the issuance of the notification, the nomination process has begun which would continue till March 25. Scrutiny of the nomination papers will be held on March 26 and the last day of withdrawing nomination is March 28.
By the evening of March 28, a clear picture on the number of candidates in each of the 91 constituencies will emerge.
All parliamentary constituencies in 10 states and Union Territories will go for polling in the first phase.
These include, Andhra Pradesh (25 seats), Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya (two seats each), Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Andaman and Nicobar and Lakshadweep (one seat each), Telangana (17 seats) and Uttarakhand (five seats).
Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal will see polling in all the seven phases.
In the first phase, eight west UP constituencies, two in West Bengal and four in Bihar will go for polls. UP has 80 seats, while West Bengal and Bihar have 42 and 40 Lok Sabha seats respectively.
The Jammu and Baramulla seats in Jammu and Kashmir will also go for polling in the first phase.
The election will pit the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance against mostly different opposition groupings in various states, including of Congress, the Left and regional forces who are continuing to work out a grand alliance to minimise a division of votes against the saffron party.
The BJP has worked out a seat-sharing formula with some new allies and several old partners, by even making concessions in states such as Bihar. However, opposition parties are yet to do so in several states.
While the NDA hopes to make history by coming back to power for a second full term, the Opposition wants to unseat the Modi dispensation by raising questions on its performance on a host of issues, including economic growth, unemployment, corruption and social harmony.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee had led the NDA to back-to-back wins in 1998 and 1999 general elections but he was at the helm for only one full term.
The BJP, which lost three state polls last year, believes its Lok Sabha campaign is back on track following decisions such as 10 per cent quota for the general category poor, money transfer to farmers and a populist budget.
What has injected further confidence into the NDA fold is the fronting of the nationalist plank in the poll campaign after the Indian Air Force’s strikes in Pakistan following the Pulwama attack in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed.
Modi has launched an aggressive campaign accusing the opposition of coming together for the sole purpose of removing him from power, when he is working to “remove poverty, corruption and terrorism”.
He had led the NDA to a sweeping victory in 2014 as it won 336 seats, reducing then incumbent Congress to its lowest total of 44 seats.

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Police Chief asks cops to be ready for polls

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Jammu, Mar 18: To assess the police preparedness for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, Director General of Police Dilbag Singh Monday visited District Bandipora and had an interaction with the personnel of Police and CAPFs.
He was accompanied by IGP Kashmir SP Pani and DIG North Kashmir Range M. Suleman Choudhary.
Singh, while interacting with the police and other CAPFs personnel deployed in the district, emphasised upon them to remain vigilant and ready for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
He said that with the announcement of schedule for the elections, responsibilities of all forces have increased and they have to focus on the security measures besides maintaining ‘law and order’.
“DGP said that J&K police alongwith other forces put in efficient efforts to conduct the Local Bodies and Panchayat elections in the state smoothly and now we have to remain extra vigilant and prepared for the Lok Sabha elections,” a police spokesperson said.

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