Communal forces raking up Kausarnag controversy: Azad

Communal forces raking up Kausarnag controversy: Azad

The controversy over the Kausarnag Yatra by Kashmiri Pandits is being raked up by "forces inimical to communal harmony" in Jammu and Kashmir, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said Saturday.

"Kausarnag Yatra controversy is being raked up by forces inimical to communal harmony in the state. I have already said the Yatra would not pose any danger to the ecology in the area," he said at a party convention in Udhampur town of Jammu district. 

A shutdown called by separatist groups against the announcement of the Kausarnag Yatra in Shopian and the consequent official restrictions marred normal life in Srinagar Saturday. The pilgrimage was halted after the outbreak of separatist violence in the Valley in early 1990s.

Azad, a former state chief minister, said such controversies are raised whenever elections are approaching in the state.

"In 2008, the 'Bham Bham Bole' row was started as the elections were round the corner in the state," he said in a veiled reference to the Bharatiya Janata Party. He expressed the hope that the Congress would form the government on its own in the state after the election.

Although the Congress and the regional National Conference have been ruling the state in alliance during the last over five years, both have already announced they would fight the forthcoming assembly elections without any electoral alliance.

In a related development, National Panthers Party' senior leader Fakir Chand joined the Congress in presence of Azad in the nearby Chenani town.

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