BJP president Amit Shah has said his party would not compromise on national interest and could end its alliance with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) if the "Kashmir issue" is not solved, echoing home minister Rajnath Singh's statement after a series of controversies over the Jammu and Kashmir government's alleged 'pro-separatist' moves
"People of this country have blessed us like Lord Shiva and given us a very big responsibility. BJP will never compromise on national interest, merely to remain in power in Jammu and Kashmir," Shah said, addressing BJP workers in his assembly constituency Naranpura on Tuesday.
The BJP-PDP ruling alliance in J-K has been buffeted by separatist leader Masarat Alam's release as well as chief minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed's statement crediting Pakistan and separatists for the peaceful December polls.
"The government (in J-K) has been formed only to solve Kashmir issue and I have full trust that we will find a solution to this issue. If it (solution of Kashmir issue) does not come about, then nobody can stop our party workers from leaving the coalition government," Shah said.
He added BJP workers should go to the people to spread the message that the party would not compromise on national interest.
Opposition parties have cornered the BJP in Parliament over the release of 42-year-old hardline separatist Alam, who played a key role in the 2010 anti-India protests in the Valley that led to more than 100 deaths in police firing. BJP's ally Shiv Sena have also criticised the move.
Commenting on the BJP chief's statement, party spokesperson Harshad Patelm however, said Shah merely pointed out that national interest is the party's priority and he never categorically said anything about breaking the BJP's alliance with the PDP.
"He (Amit Shah) merely said that national interest is our priority and BJP will not allow any anti-national activities on the soil of Jammu and Kashmir," Patel said.
Union home minister Singh had recently said his government's top priority was national security and not continuance of the government in the state. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also clarified before the Lok Sabha that Alam's release was not acceptable and that the government won't tolerate any compromise on the nation's integrity.
The PDP-BJP coalition came after a fractured verdict in the assembly polls held last year. While PDP was the largest party with 28 seats in the 87-member House, the BJP had won 25. The NC bagged 15 and Congress 12. The Sajjad Lone-led People's Conference won 2 seats.
The alliance between two diametrically opposite ideologies formed after extensive talks on areas where they ideologically disagreed: Article 370, which accords J-K a special status, and the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act that gives overriding powers to security forces.