As the ruling BJP on Thursday said it disagreed with Meghalaya Governor Tathagata Roy's tweet backing the boycott of "everything Kashmiri" following the Pulwama terror attack, its long-time ally Akali Dal said the President must take action.
"I don't agree with his tweet. Matter ends there," said Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on the outrageous posts of Tathagata Roy, a former BJP leader who was first appointed Governor in 2015.
But the Akali Dal doesn't think the matter should be closed without action. A leader of the party, Naresh Gujral, said it was "unfortunate" that people like Tathagata Roy were appointed governors and said President Ram Nath Kovind must intervene.
"It is shocking that such statements are made and no action is being taken. This is a constitutional position and people want a governor to be a statesman and secular. Such statements spread hatred in the country," Naresh Gujral told NDTV. Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur, his party colleague, endorsed the stand and said the President must take notice.
"I think it's shameful that a governor who has taken the oath of keeping the country together is talking about boycotting a certain community which belongs to our country. Kashmir is a part of our country. And to ask the country to boycott because of a state is extremely shameful," said the minister.
Akali Dal spokesperson Manjinder Sirsa, equally scathing in his criticism, said Tathagata Roy has lost all moral rights to be a Governor.
Just like Kashmir is an integral part of India; we have an integral bond with Kashmiris also- Manjinder S Sirsa (@mssirsa) February 22, 2019
We are committed to protect them. It is shameful that a Governor uses such words & advocates a hateful approach against Kashmiris. @tathagata2 has lost all moral rights to be a Governor https://t.co/CMxohjTVzZ
Tathagata Roy, a longtime BJP leader who calls himself a "right-wing Hindu socio-political thinker, writer, ideologue and also Governor, Meghalaya" in his Twitter bio, is a repeat offender. In his latest tweets, he said people should boycott Kashmiri goods and avoid travelling to the Valley.
"An appeal from a retired colonel of the Indian Army: Don't visit Kashmir, don't go to Amarnath for the next two years. Don't buy articles from Kashmir emporia or Kashmiri tradesman who come every winter. Boycott everything Kashmiri. I am inclined to agree," the Governor had tweeted.
An appeal from a retired colonel of the Indian Army: Don't visit Kashmir,don't go to Amarnath for the next 2 years. Don't buy articles from Kashmir emporia or Kashmiri tradesman who come every winter. Boycott everything Kashmiri.- Tathagata Roy (@tathagata2) February 19, 2019
I am inclined to agree
The Pakistan Army (who are handling the Kashmiri separatists) was among their own in East Pakistan in 1971. They slaughtered and raped right and left. And they would have kept EP but for the whacking from India.- Tathagata Roy (@tathagata2) February 19, 2019
I am not suggesting that we go that far. But at least some distance? https://t.co/WxzEpdnw4Z
Naresh Gujral said he would send a letter to the President to take note of the comments and intervene. He compared the reported attacks on Kashmiris to the ostracisation of the Sikh community in the 1980s Punjab militancy, especially after the assassination of Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards in 1984.
On February 14, over 40 soldiers were killed when a suicide bomber blew up a car full of RDX next to a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) convoy in Kashmir's Pulwama. Over the past few days, Kashmiris have faced attacks and harassment from a section of the population in parts of the country.