‘Worthwhile Discussion’: After Controversial Exchange on Kashmir, Rijiju Meets Senior Cong Leader Karan Singh


Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju on Monday met veteran Congress leader Karan Singh and discussed Jammu and Kashmir and its history. The meeting came days after Rijiju had attacked Singh over the events preceding Kashmir’s accession. Rijiju has been critical India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru over the Kashmir issue.

Sharing photos on Twitter from their meet, Rijiju said the two leaders had a “worthwhile discussion”. “At 36, Dr Karan Singh became the youngest Cabinet Minister in 1967 ! We spent some quality time having tête-à-tête about his life, Jammu & Kashmir and history,” Rijiju tweeted.

Last month, Singh had stressed that Jammu must be given its due right and there should be no hitch in granting the same after re-organization of the state into a Union Territory. In an article, Singh sought to clarify the role of his father and the erstwhile ruler of J&K, Maharaja Hari Singh, in J&K’s accession to India.

After party colleague Jairam Ramesh criticised him, Singh had hit back and said that the “unsavoury remarks” regarding his father were “unacceptable”. In a statement, Singh said he had hoped his views will be taken in the spirit in which he wrote them rather than become a subject of “snide remarks”.

Singh pointed out that he had dedicated his latest book “An Examined Life” to Nehru and in his article he made it clear that he was not dealing with the multiple allegations made against India’s first prime minister by Rijiju.

On Thursday, Ramesh had criticised Singh for “sidestepping” Rijuju’s “hit job” on Nehru’s role in Jammu and Kashmir’s accession to India. Ramesh’s remarks had come over an article by Singh on Jammu and Kashmir’s accession to India in an English daily in which Ramesh said he had defended his father and erstwhile ruler Hari Singh.

Reacting to Singh’s article earlier, Ramesh had said on Twitter, “There is not a single scholarly and serious work on J&K that portrays Maharaja Hari Singh in good light.” “Even this authoritative work by VP Menon doesn’t make Hari Singh a wronged man. It is hence natural that his son Dr. Karan Singh defends him in the HT today,” Ramesh had said, sharing the screenshot of the cover of a book by Menon.

“What I find surprising though is that Dr Karan Singh has sidestepped Rijiju’s hit job on Nehru…,” the Congress general secretary in-charge communications had said.

Jammu and Kashmir’s accession came into the focus as it was at the centre of the war of words between the BJP and the Congress last week. Rijiju wrote an article for a portal citing “five Nehruvian blunders”, including floating the idea of a plebiscite and terming Jammu and Kashmir’s accession provisional.

The minister had said it was important to realise past mistakes to build a new future and added he has not tweaked history but stated facts to set the record straight.

The Congress had demanded an apology from Rijiju over his criticism of Nehru’s handling of the Kashmir issue and asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to rein in ministers from making “irresponsible statements”.

(with inputs from PTI)

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