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Congress Minister In J&K Calls For Azadi To Kashmir

PTI 06 Dec 2010, 20:31:53 IST
Jammu, Dec 6: A Jammu and Kashmir Minister belonging to Congress has stoked a controversy by suggesting that Kashmir be granted "Azadi", remarks that embarassed his party which termed them as his personal view.

Addressing a rally at Bani in Kathua district on Sunday, Congress Minister for Health and Horticulture Sham Lal Sharma had raised the demand for making Jammu a separate state, giving union territory status to Ladakh and granting "Azadi" to Kashmir.

"Give freedom to Kashmir, that's more beneficial. Give separate statehood status to Jammu and make Ladakh a union territory. If this state has to be developed, this is the only solution", Sharma said in the presence of PCC chief Saifuddin Soz.

His remarks drew a sharp attack from state BJP which alleged they "tantamount to treason" and demanded his dismissal from the government and arrest.

In Delhi, Congress today distanced itself from the controversial remarks of minister Sham Lal Sharma favouring "Azadi" to Kashmir and trifurcation of the state.

"There is no question of commening on individuals' views. Congress stand is clear. It is for autonomy within the constitutional framework. Let us not visit the established axioms. It is dangerous to re-visit such axioms," party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi told reporters here. PTI