The BJP’s youth wing held its first ever convention in Kashmir on Sunday with Islamic slogans to start proceedings, and invoked former prime minister A B Vajpayee’s “doctrine of Insaniyat, Jamhooriyat and Kashmiriyat”, a media report says.
Addressing a gathering of around 1,000 men and women at the Sher-e-Kashmir Cricket Stadium in Srinagar, Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) president Poonam Mahajan described the occasion as “historic”, according to a report in The Indian Express.
Mahajan was welcomed at the venue with “Narai Takbeer-Allahu Akbar” slogans and “BJP zindabad”. A few minutes later, came the call for prayer from a mosque nearby, which was quickly followed by an announcement: “Sab khamosh ho jayein, azaan ho rahi hai (Everyone be silent, there is a call for prayer),” the report said.
Later, referring to Vajpayee, Mahajan said, “Vajpayeeji said Insaniyat, Jamhooriyat and Kashmiriyat. We have to move forward with Insaniyat. Neighbours can’t be changed but we want peace.”
Speaking at the event, senior BJP leader and J&K Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh, too, praised Vajpayee. “I have had three-four chances to go to Pakistan under Track II (diplomacy). Once, a Pakistani asked me how I felt, and I said it was if I am in Jammu and Kashmir. He asked if I was from India and I said I am the state president of Vajpayee’s party in Jammu and Kashmir. He stood up, hugged me and said the world doesn’t have a politician like Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He (Vajpayee) stretched the hand of friendship even in an atmosphere like Kargil. He said that friends can be changed but neighbours can’t,” said Singh.