Chouhan equates Gupkar alliance with spying outfit; targets Nehru

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(Eds: adding quotes) Bhopal, Nov 20 (PTI) Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Friday accused the members of the Gupkar alliance in Jammu and Kashmir of 'spying' for China and Pakistan.

He also took potshots at the country's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, blaming him for Partition and for 'imposing' Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir.

The state Congress accused Chouhan of trying to divert attention from the worsening coronavirus situation in Madhya Pradesh.

The People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaratio is a conglomerate in Jammu and Kashmir which includes the National Conference (NC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

It was formed to seek restoration of autonomy for the region under Article 370.

'What should I call it....Gupkar sangathan or `guptachar' (spy) sangathan. These people are spying for China and Pakistan,' Chouhan said, speaking to reporters here.

'This is not an alliance. (Under the garb of Roshni Act) These leaders of Gupkar sangathan have grabbed land worth more than Rs 25,000 crore in Jammu and Kashmir,' the BJP leader further alleged.

The Rohni Act, introduced by Farooq Abdullah's government in 2001, granted ownership to encroachers with the aim of raising money for power projects upon payment of money.

'Be it the National Conference or the PDP, the children of their leaders studied abroad. They gave stones to the children of Kashmir. They lived luxurious life and had the freedom to loot Kashmir,' Chouhan said.

When pointed out that the BJP was part of a ruling alliance with the PDP in the past, Chouhan said his party could not stay with those having 'anti-national' outlook and therefore it walked out of the coalition.

'They pushed Jammu and Kashmir into darkness. They all have gathered now and are speaking anti-national language.

The Congress is also with them,' Chouhan further said.

The Congress had denied earlier this week that it was part of the Gupkar alliance.

Chouhan also targeted Jawaharlal Nehru.

'Honourable Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru accepted the bifurcation of the country because of lust for power. It was Nehru who imposed Article 370 in Kashmir....It was Nehru who took the Kashmir issue, our internal matter, to the United Nations and even talked about referendum,' he said.

'I want to ask Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi about the Gupkar Alliance. The people of the entire country want to know why the Congress has joined hands with the votaries against the junking of Article 370, those who want to vitiate the atmosphere in J&K by promoting terrorism,' Chouhan said.

'Congress' clarification that it was not part of the Gupkar Declaration was unbelievable....It is also contesting District Development Council polls with the alliance,' he said.

'(Congress leaders) P Chidambaram, Ghulam Nabi Azad are openly saying that Article 370 should be reimposed. Sonia Gandhi should clear the Congress' viewpoint,' he said.

He also referred to Abdullah's alleged statement that they will take China's help to restore Article 370. The National Conference had denied that he made the statement.

Chouhan also referred to PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti's statement that she would not hoist the tri-colour until the autonomy under Article 370 was restored.

Reacting to Chouhan's diatribe, MP Congress spokesman Bhupendra Gupta said the chief minister wanted to conceal his government's failure to check coronavirus spread, so he is raking up the issue of Gupkar alliance to divert attention.

'Chouhan-ji, ask yourself why the BJP had joined hands with PDP in Kashmir in the past,' he said. PTI LAL MAS RSY KRK KRK