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AAP divided over Prashant Bhushan's Kashmir referendum talk

Tuesday, 7 January 2014 - 7:56am IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: dna

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Controversies continue to dog the Aam Aadmi Party. Too many disparate voices emanating from within the party — with no clarity on its economic issues or if at all it has an ideology — have bogged it down, giving the common man the impression that AAP is going nowhere even while it’s handing its political rivals more than one broom to beat AAP with.

On Monday, the party was forced to distance itself from senior leader Prashant Bhushan’s statement that a referendum should be carried out in Kashmir on whether or not the Indian Army should be deployed in the Valley to deal with the security situation there.

No sooner did Bhushan air this view, there was a chorus of protests from rival parties. So much so, AAP convenor and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal was compelled to clear the air on the volatile issue. “We don’t agree with Prashant Bhushan. It’s his personal view. Deployment of the Army within the country should be decided on the basis of internal security threat. There is no question of a referendum. But sentiments of locals should be respected,” Kejriwal said.

But within hours of Kejriwal’s statement, Bhushan forgot to respect the sentiments of some of the locals — those of the separatists. “AAP is of the view that Kashmir is an integral part of India. I share this view. Referendum shouldn’t be misconstrued to mean plebiscite,” Bhushan said, drawing the separatists into the fray. The separatists are infuriated.

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