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BJP supports demand for divisional status to Ladakh

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Flays Mehbooba Mufti for demanding similar status to Pir Panchal, Chenab valley

Jammu, Dec 09: Backing the creation of a separate division for Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir unit of BJP has urged Governor Satya Pal Malik not to "succumb to the blackmailing tactics" of the Valley-centric parties on the issue.

"Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh are three distinct geographical entities and are referred to as the three regions of the state," Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) state spokesperson Anil Gupta said in a statement here.

"Hence, the demand of granting a divisional status to Ladakh is fully justified and BJP supports and endorses the demand," he added.

The BJP requests the Governor not to give in or succumb to the "blackmailing tactics" of the Valley-centric parties, Gupta said.

On December 07, People's Democratic Party (PDP) president and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti had warned of an agitation if the state administration, headed by Malik, accorded divisional status to Ladakh region, while ignoring Pir Panjal and Chenab valley of Jammu region.

"There are reports that the governor's administration will accord a divisional status to Ladakh. We are not against it."

"I request the governor and I hope all parties like the National Conference, Congress and others come together on this and demand that if you are giving Ladakh a divisional status, then Pir Panjal and Chenab Valley should also get it, otherwise we will be forced to agitate peacefully," she had said.

The BJP leader, however, said Mehbooba Mufti's threat to agitate was a clear cut manifestation of her party's "anti-Jammu" mindset.

"Mehbooba has not given up her agenda of communal division of Jammu region which failed miserably in Kathua (a reference to the brutal rape and murder of a minor girl of a nomadic family)," he said.

"Her evil design to divide the Dogras on religious lines by creating a rift between the Gujjars and Hindus was defeated badly by the maturity displayed by the elders of both the communities," he added.

"It appears that it hurt her ego and she feels humbled and defeated. Not prepared to give up easily, she is now trying to play the communal card by demanding divisional status to Muslim dominated hilly districts south of Pir Panjal," Gupta said.

In doing so, he alleged that Mehbooba was “engineering a regional divide on religious lines and furthering the two-nation agenda of Mohammad Ali Jinnah that led to the partition of the country”.

"The people of Jammu, irrespective of caste, creed or religion will never allow this sinister design of PDP to succeed," he said.

“Another division on the basis of religion is not at all acceptable to the secular people of Jammu and they are willing to go to any extent to prevent it from happening," he added.

The BJP leader alleged there was no demand of granting divisional status to Pir Panjal and Chenab valley and the "manufactured demand" was a product of Mehbooba's "evil mind to further the agenda of Pakistan since the country's former president Pervez Musharraf had advocated a similar division of Jammu region”.

He said like the NC and Congress, the new-found allies of Mehbooba, she does not want to be left behind in playing "communal, divisive and opportunistic politics" for the sake of polarising the electorate in view of the impending Assembly elections.

Gupta said her threat of a joint agitation by all Kashmir-centric politicians also smacks of the arrogance of the leaders who want to maintain "single region dominance" over the other two regions of the state.

"Unfortunately for them, every issue boils down to 'special status' and 'religion' thereby colouring their narrow vision to an extent that ultimately it comes down to 'us versus them', the major cause of regional discrimination ailing the state," he said.

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