The observations and claims made by senior Congress leader Saifuddin Soz in his forthcoming book triggered a political controversy on Friday. The main opposition party not just rejected Soz’s views but called it a gimmick to sell his book, while the BJP demanded that the Congress top leadership give their opinion on Soz’s observations and claims.
AICC communication department head Randeep Surjewala said that if the contents of the book as reported are correct, “Congress party and every rightful citizen of India will reject such content as a gimmick to sell a book which is yet to come into the market,” he said. Surjewala said the Congress rejects Soz’s “stray” statement in toto.
Surjewala said the “unquestionable truth” is that “Jammu and Kashmir was an integral part of India, is an integral part of India and will always remain an integral part of India. Many people will make many statements either to sell books or to gain cheap publicity…” Soz argued that former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf’s assessment over a decade ago that Kashmiris will “prefer to be independent” if they are given a chance to “exercise their free will” seems to be “correct even today”.
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