Bilal Bashir Bhat
Srinagar, Aug 17 (KNB): Even as world-renowned leaders visited Smriti Sthal New Delhi on Friday to pay homage and attend the funeral of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, former Prime Minister and veteran BJP leader who passed away on 16th Aug, the Kashmir based BJP cadre with the reasons known to them only skipped to attend the funeral.
Pertinently, Atal Bihari Vajpayee breathed his last at All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) New Delhi after he was put on ventilator support last week. The government has announced seven days of state mourning, and the national flag will be flown at half-mast for seven days across the country.
Reports reaching Kashmir News Bureau, the none of the BJP leaders from Kashmir province was seen at Atal Bihari’s funeral which held on Friday attended by top brass leadership of India including President Ram Nath Kovind , Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu, PM Narendra Modi, Congress President Rahul Gandhi, Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Lal Krishan Advani, Amit Shah, Chief Ministers of different states apart from the heads of the three services of Indian Armed Forces.
King of Bhutan Jigme Khesar Namgyel, Former President of Indian Hamid Karzai, Pakistan acting law minister Syed Ali Zafar were among the neighboring countries who attend the last rites of Vajpayee.
“Though the BJP has not prominence in Kashmir as it fails to open an account in Kashmir 2014-15 assembly elections, but with today’s development the BJP high authorities may express dismay,” a political analyst told KNB pleading anonymity.
The BJP secured a measly 2.2 percent of the votes in 2014 and won no seats. It didn’t win any seats in Buddhist-dominated Ladakh either. The BJP won 22 of the party’s 25 seats in the 87-member assembly from Hindu-majority Jammu — a far cry from the pre-election “Mission 44” boast of party chief Amit Shah. Presently from Kashmir province, BJP had a member representation in form of Sofi Muhammad Yousuf.
Meanwhile, Governor N.N. Vohra left for New Delhi to pay homage and attend the funeral of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, former Prime Minister, with whom he had served for several years, during the period he was carrying out a dialogue with all segments in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. While as erstwhile Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti despite the rift with BJP attended funeral along with her party members.
Meanwhile, a condolence meeting was held at rented BJP’s Kashmir office situated in Jawar Nagar Srinagar where leaders and activists paid floral tribute to Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Earlier, chairman of moderate Hurriyat faction Mirwaiz Umar Farooq expressed sorrow over the demise of Vajpayee, “Sad to hear about the demise of Vajpayeeji. He was a rare Indian leader who had the humaneness to seek the resolution of the festering Kashmir dispute in the wide ambit of humanity and not within the confines of a constitution and he made efforts to walk his talk when he initiated unconditional talks with the Hurriyat Conference.He also wanted cordial and peaceful relations with Pakistan and was ready to address all issues including the core issue of Kashmir through dialogue.” Mirwaiz Tweeted soon after the news of Vajpayee’s demise came into light.
“His (Vajpayee’s) initiatives to resolve lingering Kashmir dispute are laudable, despite criticism, odd and privileging situation. He starts Dialogue with Pakistan, Hizb-ul-Mujahideen and Hurriyat Conference,” reads a statement issued to media by Hurriyat Alliance Kashmir.
Meanwhile, Vajpayee was cremated with full state honours at Smriti Sthal, New Delhi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah walked beside the coffin as it was brought to Smriti Sthal. (KNB)