New Delhi, January 6, 2014: Facing fire for party leader Prashant Bhushan’s call for a referendum on deployment of the Army in Jammu and Kashmir, the Aam Aadmi Party on Monday distanced itself from the suggestion and asserted that “Kashmir is an integral part of India.”
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said Mr. Bhushan’s views were his own.
“Deployment of the Army within the country should be on the basis of internal security threat. There is no question of a referendum on this. But we believe the sentiments of locals should be respected. Otherwise, democracy will be under threat,” he said. Hitting out at the AAP, BJP leader Arun Jaitley said Mr. Bhushan’s suggestion was “regrettable.” The Congress said a party with national ambitions should have well-thought-out views on sensitive issues.
Mr. Bhushan later issued a statement clarifying that Jammu and Kashmir was an integral part of India and there was no question of challenging its accession to the country. “Any reference to referendum should not be misconstrued as plebiscite on Kashmir’s relationship with India.”