Hardliner separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani Friday claimed that the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, had sent emissaries to him seeking help to resolve the Kashmir issue, but he had rejected the overture.
“On March 22, two men came to meet me. They were our Pandit brothers, who sought my help in resolving the Kashmir dispute,” Geelani said but did not identify the men. He claimed the men asked him if he wished to talk to Modi.
“They conveyed to me that if I am ready to offer any assistance... I can contact Narendra Modi directly and seek some commitment vis-à-vis the Kashmir issue,” he told reporters.
Geelani said he rejected the proposal and told them that Modi was an RSS man and followed the same ideology, and everyone was aware of the RSS and the Kashmir policy of the BJP, which Modi represented.
“I told the men about Modi’s role as chief minister during the 2002 Gujarat riots and how 3,000 Muslims were massacred. I also conveyed to them that Modi can never show any softness or seriousness for a resolution of Kashmir,’’ he said.
Geelani, who arrived from New Delhi on April 16, said the BJP was sure that Modi would be the next prime minister of India.
“They (BJP) have already started communicating with the separatist leadership of Kashmir. (Modi’s) men are trying to read the minds of Kashmiri leaders and want to convey to them how he will be soft on Kashmir,’’ he said, adding that some separatist leaders have through media statements already said that Modi would be soft on Kashmir.
“These leaders actually met the emissaries of Modi,” Geelani claimed.
The chairman of the moderate Hurriyat, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, had recently said they were hopeful about Modi, and wished the BJP would take A B Vajpayee’s mission forward.
Geelani also asked people to boycott the polls and urged them to observe a shutdown and a civil curfew on the days the three seats in the Valley vote.