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Even as PDP-BJP Take a Swipe at Each other, The Coalition Holds

Mufti Islah | CNN-News18

Updated: April 21, 2017, 11:30 PM IST
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Even as PDP-BJP Take a Swipe at Each other, The Coalition Holds
J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti (File Photo)

Srinagar: The ruling coalition partners in Jammu and Kashmir - PDP and BJP - are sniping dangerously at each other, but even then there seems to be no immediate danger to government.

The PDP has answered BJP over a serving minister's controversial remarks, who called for shooting down Kashmiri protestors, and over 'BJP reneging' on a seat-sharing pact in state's legislative council.

An interview by BJP national secretary Ram Madhav to News18 where he takes a dig at Mehbooba government's failure to contain violence has escalated tensions between the two allies.

The offensive came as Madhav held a series of meetings with top government functionaries on Friday in Jammu, betraying Centre’s concern over the deteriorating law and order situation in the Valley.

The PDP's hard hitting response followed controversial remarks of state’s Industries minister Chander Prakash Ganga who called for shooting protesters to control the protests.

“They are traitors. Whether they live in the country or come from Pakistan, they can only be treated by bullets,” Ganga told reporters a few days back.

Madhav stirred the hornet's nest when he justified the army action of strapping a local man to an army jeep to prevent stone throwing on April 9, claiming "everything was fair in love and war".

His statement drew a reaction from senior PDP leader and education minister Altaf Bukhari.

“One fails to understand against whom Mr. Madhav has declared war. Is it a war declared against Kashmiris who despite all odds cast their votes reaffirming their belief in democracy? Or is it a war declared to satiate the sanguine electoral interests of a particular political party in the country. Let Mr. Madhav be reminded that no civilised society can afford to use its citizens as shields for military operations,” said Bukhari. He also did not spare Ganga.

"Instead of initiating dialogue as a confidence-building measure to instill a sense of belonging among bruised Kashmiris, some BJP insiders are trying to sabotage the whole peace process initiated under the Vajpayee regime.”

Earlier, PDP vice president and Mehbooba's uncle Sartaj Madni said Ganga’s utterances were not only disgusting and unjustifiable but perilous as well.

"It is unbecoming of a senior minister in the government to dish out such a sweeping, sickening and intimidating statement against the Kashmiri youth,” he said.

National Conference's Farooq Abdullah criticised Mehbooba Mufti for not taking action against Ganga.

"The failure of chief minister Mehbooba Mufti to act against the minister has beyond any doubt proved her lack of authority and responsibility towards the state and its people," he said.

The fresh war of words has come as Centre is believed to be unhappy with Mehbooba over her handling of the situation and some voices are calling for imposition of the Governor’s rule.

In an apparent snub to the ally PDP, Madhav on Friday held a series of meetings with governor N N Vohra, state police chief S P Vaid to discuss the law and order situation. Vaid was summoned by BJP to the party headquarters, setting tongues to wag.

Madhav also met state’s finance minister Haseeb Drabu, Drabu enjoys a good rapport with Madhav and BJP - to iron out differences between the two parties. And soon after that meeting, Ganga dramatically released a statement saying: “If anyone is hurt by my statement, I express regret over it."

First Published: April 21, 2017, 11:30 PM IST
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