Bhushan's view on Jammu Kashmir referendum is his own, says Kejriwal

After fellow party leader Prashant Bhushan sparked a controversy with his comments on the removal of army forces from Kashmir, Aam Aadmi Party Arvind Kejriwal today said he didn't agree that there needed to be a referendum in the state.

"We dont agree with what Prashant Bhushan said about Kashmir, it's his personal view," Arvind Kejriwal told reporters in Delhi.

We cannot have a referendum on Kashmir, but we must respect sentiments of Kashmiri people, he said.

 Bhushans view on Jammu Kashmir referendum is his own, says Kejriwal

Not on the same page on Kashmir? File image. PTI

The AAP leader's comments come in light of his party colleague seeking a referendum on the presence of the Army and the removal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).

"It is very important for us to win the hearts and minds of the people and prevent alienation. For that, the first thing which needs to be done is to remove AFSPA, which gives Army immunity in human rights violations," Bhushan said in an interview to a TV channel.

Bhushan, however, seemed to have moderated his earlier stand which had him reportedly favouring the separation of Kashmir if that was what was wanted by the people of the state.

He instead said that the separation of Kashmir Valley would be against the Indian Constitution and added that it may also cause harm to minorities like Kashmiri Pandits and Sikhs who inhabit the state.

"Allowing the separation of Kashmir may lead to a problem where you have a separate state where minority rights are not protected by the constitution... Indian constitution protects minority rights," he said.

with PTI inputs

Updated Date: Jan 06, 2014 15:59:39 IST