Party president is answerable to the nation for irresponsible and anti-national rants by his leaders

Jammu: A senior Congress leader in Jammu and Kashmir has triggered a major controversy with his statement that if his party comes to power, it will pay Rs one crore and give a government job to the kin of those killed in Kashmir in the name of terrorism.

Sounding sympathetic to Kashmiri militants, Haji Sagheer Saeed Khan, a minority cell observer of the All India Congress Committee, also promised the release of militants after withdrawal of cases against them, if the Congress comes to power.

Asserting that Kashmir has become a killing field under BJP rule, Khan said “a new law would be made to hang BJP leaders involved in killings of the people (in Kashmir).”

Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) rejected Khan’s statement saying he had no mandate of the party to make any statement on a policy matter without consulting the JKPCC.

Disowning Khan’s statement, JKPCC chief spokesperson Ravinder Sharma said in a statement that the Congress party’s stand is clear that terrorism has to be dealt with sternly and there cannot be any compromise on the issue of security and safety of people.

Attacking the Congress after Khan’s statement, the BJP’s J&K unit spokesperson, Brigadier (Retd) Anil Gupta, on Thursday asserted that Khan had the blessing of Rahul Gandhi and he needed no mandate of the JKPCC to make any statement.

Pointing out that Khan had made the statement at the JKPCC’s official press conference in presence of a JKPCC general secretary, Brig (Retd) Gupta said the Congress had sought to disown the statement as “an afterthought”.

“Can anyone believe that a guest from New Delhi would make a statement against the party ideology, in its official press conference in the presence of a JKPCC general secretary?” Gupta asked.

“Does he (Khan) need any mandate from the JKPCC when he enjoys the blessings of Congress President Rahul Gandhi and the AICC?” he asked.

He said, “It is a face-saving exercise but it will fail because the people are convinced of pro-terror and pro-Pak mindset of the Congress.”

The BJP spokesperson said that Hafiz Saeed, the Mumbai terror attacks mastermind, has repeatedly praised the Congress party and its leaders. He mentioned Hafiz Saeed’s recent appreciation for senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad’s statement in June this year that the army under the BJP had killed more civilians than terrorists in Kashmir.

“In Samjhauta Blast case, they let the real terrorists flee and arrested some Hindu preachers and army men to coin terms like ‘Saffron Terrorism’. There can’t be better friends of Hafiz in the entire world than the Congress party,” said Gupta.