Subramanian Swamy
BJP leader Subramanian Swamy.IANS

BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, known for making controversial remarks, has touched on one of the most sensitive topics on Narendra Modi-led NDA government's agenda--the situation in Jammu and Kashmir and military rule in parts of the state.

Openly advocating imposition of President's rule in Jammu & Kashmir, Swamy on Thursday said he totally favoured the handing over of the state to the military.

The army already enjoys special powers in many "disturbed" areas of Jammu & Kashmir under the provisions of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) 1990. The state's leading parties have for a long been demanding the withdrawal of AFSPA over alleged human rights violations.

Under the AFSPA, the Indian Armed Forces have the powers to try and execute anyone acting against law and order in the disturbed areas, and the personnel employed under the AFSPA have immunity from prosecution and other legal proceedings.

The Act was also a crucial topic on the agenda for alliance between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the People's Democratic Party (PDP). The PDP wanted the withdrawal of AFSPA, but the BJP was firm that it should continue.

Swamy's statement comes just days after the ruling alliance government in Jammu & Kashmir faced a roadblock over the issuance of passport to hardline Kashmiri separatist Syed Ali Shah Geelani, who has always challenged the state's accession to India.

While the BJP wanted Geelani to accept Jammu & Kashmir's accession to India before his passport application was processed, the PDP was in favour of issuing the passport without any condition. Geelani was on Tuesday finally issued a passport "on humanitarian grounds".

Both the parties have had differences since the day they agreed to forge an alliance to form the government in Jammu & Kashmir.

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