Separatist Alam's release divides alliance: BJP says wasn't consulted, PDP downplays

The BJP on Sunday reacted to the release saying that its ministers and MLAs would consult on the matter but said that the party was not consulted before the decision was taken.

FP Politics March 09, 2015 07:30:57 IST
Separatist Alam's release divides alliance: BJP says wasn't consulted, PDP downplays

After an earlier embarassment over Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed's statement on Pakistan and militants, the release of hardline separatist leader Masarat Alam has stretched the already tenuous ties between the BJP and PDP, with the former claiming that they hadn't even been consulted before the step was taken.

The BJP  on Sunday reacted to the release saying that its ministers and MLAs would consult on the matter but said that the party was not consulted before the decision was taken.

"This step does have consent of BJP. Nor was BJP consulted before taking such a decision," state BJP chief and MP Jugal Kishore Sharma told reporters.

Separatist Alams release divides alliance BJP says wasnt consulted PDP downplays

AFP image

There has been widespread criticism of the decision to release Muslim League leader Masarat Alam, who was seen as being responsible for fanning trouble in 2010 in which over 100 people died in Kashmir.

"We were not asked before releasing Masarat Alam. If they had asked us, we would not have given approval from our side
on this and even today our consent is not with this decision," he added.

Criticising the decision, Sharma said, "Such people should not have been released as they only spit anti-India venom... If you leave such people like this without any conditions, they will always resort to such (separatist) slogans".

"We will clear our stand to PDP. BJP is not dependent on any party. BJP is in power on its own strength," he said, adding his party had joined hands with PDP for development of Jammu and Kashmir and for the betterment of people of the state.

Asked whether BJP will opt out of the government, he said "the situation has not come. We will sit with our partner and take a decision (with regard to such issue) so that in future such steps are not taken".

On the issue of Mehbooba Mufti's statement that she is not bothered about the coalition, Sharma said, "BJP have formed alliance on development agenda. The coalition has been formed on the agenda of betterment of people of J&K. We will continue to move forward on that. That is why we will hold meeting on this and will come back to you with our reaction."

The PDP today retaliated by downplaying the criticism and said engaging all stakeholders for establishing peace in Jammu and Kashmir was part of the Common Minimum Programme (CMP) of the two parties.

"This (the release of Alam) has to be seen in proper perspective. It is an important part of our Common Minimum Programme to involve all stakeholders in the state, and across the Line of Control, for reconciliation and peace in the state," PDP chief spokesman and Education Minister Naeem Akhtar told PTI.

"If you want to have a dialogue with all stakeholders, which includes these leaders, you cannot engage them by keeping them in jail without anything substantial against them," he added.

Akhtar said the courts had intervened on the detention of some of the leaders and set them free. Asked about the opposition by BJP to Alam's release, Akhtar said he does not want to get into a public debate on it.

"They have their own views but I don't want to enter into a public debate on this issue. This is part of our CMP," he added.

with inputs from PTI

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