Troubled alliance: Controversies straining PDP-BJP relations in J-K
Controversies have marred the PDP-BJP ruling alliance in J&K from the day it has assumed charge. These include CM crediting Pakistan for allowing peaceful assembly polls, PDP demand for return of Afzal Guru's remains and release of separatist leader Masrat Alam by the state government.india Updated: Mar 10, 2015 14:32 IST
The PDP-BJP ruling alliance in Jammu & Kashmir is yet to complete a fortnight in office but relations between the two have been hit by controversies from day one.
Given the flash points that have emerged in the last few days, it is to be seen how the PDP and BJP will overcome these. Here are the three major controversies that have pitted the ruling partners against each other:
1. MUFTI CREDITS PAKISTAN, MILITANTS FOR "ALLOWING POLLS"
Sticking point: Soon after taking oath on March 1, chief minister Sayeed had said credit must be given to people from across the border, an oblique reference to Pakistan, Hurriyat and militant outfits, for "allowing conducive atmosphere" for assembly polls.
"I want to say this on record and I have told this to the Prime Minister that the we must credit the Hurriyat, militant outfits for the conduct of assembly elections in the state," Sayeed said during a press conference in Srinagar after being sworn-in.
Reaction: Distancing itself from the CM’s statement, BJP central leadership said it was due to efforts of the Election Commission and the security forces. The home minsiter and prime minister made statements in the Parliament to clarify the government's stand on the issue.
Speaking in the Rajya Sabha, PM Modi disapproved of Mufti Sayeed's statement, saying, "If somebody makes such a statement, we can never support it."
Earlier, clarifying that the government fully dissociated itself from the statement, home minister Rajnath Singh said, "the credit for smooth polls in J-K goes to Election Commission, army, paramilitary forces and people of the state."
Status: Mufti Mohammad Sayeed has said he stands by his statement on violence-free polls in the state. Reacting to the controversy, he said, “What I’ve said, I’ve said. Will stand by that.”
2.DEMAND FOR RETURN OF AFZAL GURU's MORTAL REMAINS
Sticking Point: A group of MLAs from PDP has demanded that the mortal remains of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru be returned. Guru was hanged on February 9, 2013, inside Tihar Jail for his involvement in the December 2001 attack on Parliament.
Reaction: The Shiv Sena, a constituent of the NDA and partner of ruling BJP in Maharashtra, has come down heavily on J&K CM Mufti Mohammad Sayeed for his 'demands' and warned that the nation will have to pay heavy price if Sayeed's 'poisonous' demands were fulfilled.
"Demanding the remains of Afzal Guru (a convict in terror attack on Parliament) is anti-national. Guru had committed a crime against the nation and showing sympathy to him would mean ridiculing the judgement of the supreme court and the Indian law," said an editorial in Sena mouthpiece Samna.
Status: The union home minsitry has refused to hand over the mortal remains of Afzal Guru to his family.
3.RELEASE OF SEPARATIST LEADER MASRAT ALAM
Sticking Point: J&K chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed ordered the release of top separatist leader Masrat Alam, who spearheaded the stone-pelting agitation in the Valley in 2010, after four-and-a-half years in detention. The Hurriyat hardliner walked free from Baramulla jail on 7th March, a day after the process of releasing political prisoners with no criminal charges against them was put in motion.
Reaction: The government has said that the centre was not consulted by the state government over this issue. The centre has also sought a report from Jammu and Kashmir on the release of separatist leader Masrat Alam from preventive detention. The issue has been raised by the opposition in Parliament. Union home minister will make a statement on the issue on Monday.