Day-old Jammu and Kashmir government was hit by another row Monday when a group of PDP MLAs demanded that the Centre hand over the remains of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru to his Kashmir-based family.
BJP has condemned the demand made by the group, asking its ally to shun "this type of politics".
The party asserted that it practises zero tolerance on terrorism. On a day the BJP government was forced in Parliament to disassociate itself with Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed's comments crediting Pakistan and militants for peaceful polls in the state, the ruling party again had to defend itself over the Guru controversy later in the evening.
"Terror has no religion. We condemn this type of politics. Terrorism is an enemy of humanity and the whole country should unite to root this out. BJP believes in zero tolerance to terrorism," BJP secretary Shrikant Sharma told PTI.
The BJP-led NDA was in power when the audacious attack on December 13, 2001 left 14 people dead.
“PDP (Peoples Democratic Party) has always maintained that late Afzal Guru’s hanging was travesty of justice and constitutional requirements/process was not followed in hanging him out of turn,” the MLAs said.
The PDP-BJP government got off to a rocky start Sunday when chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed thanked Pakistan and militant outfits for smooth conduct of polls in the state within hours of taking oath.
The BJP distanced itself from the PDP patron’s remarks but came under Opposition fire in Parliament.
In Srinagar more trouble was brewing. “PDP stands by the demand for return of his (Guru’s) mortal remains, and the party promises to follow vigorously for the return of the mortal remains,” eight PDP MALs said in a statement.
Guru, 43, was hanged and buried in Delhi’s Tihar Jail on February 9, 2013 by the previous UPA government.
Guru’s family has alleged that the Centre didn’t inform them and they got to know about the hanging from TV and the state government. The hanging remains an emotive issue and figured prominently during campaigning.
The PDP MLAs also said an assembly resolution brought in 2011 to seek clemency for Guru should have been adopted.
“The way he was picked up from serial no.28 and singled out has been condemned by the PDP…” they said.
Former CM and National Conference chief Omar Abdullah took another jibe at the PDP. “Has Mufti decided the Modi-Mufti accord was a mistake? Are the father-daughter duo trying to force BJP to break off the alliance?” he tweeted.
Bitter rivals, the PDP and the BJP held marathon talks over two months and climbed down from their stated position before sealing the deal.
Not just ideologies but their support bases also sets apart the two unlikely partners who would be tempted to play to gallery to humour their voters, observers say.
(With inputs from HTC, Delhi)
MLAs of PDP party demand Afzal Guru’s remains; Omar terms move attempt to buy vote