Free Press Journal

Mehbooba to meet Modi as threat of guv rule looms


Jammu/Srinagar : As the war of attrition between allies BJP and PDP over the handling of the situation in Kashmir heats up, is the troubled state heading for another spell of Governor’s rule?

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti is expected to discuss the current crisis when she meets Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 23 against the backdrop of the April 19 meeting of the BJP core group that reviewed the law and order situation in Kashmir Valley and is believed to have discussed the option of Central rule.

Quite understandably, the whispers of Governor’s rule have upset the PDP.

“This is not good. We were elected on a joint plank and it would have preferable for the BJP to talk to us directly instead of through the media. Hopefully, the air will clear after the meeting between the CM and the PM,” a senior PDP leader said.

The current round of tensions between the allies was sparked when an independent MLA from Zanskar constituency, Baqir Rizvi, hitherto a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) supporter, crossed over to vote for the BJP nominee in the legislative council elections.

This was termed “backstabbing” by PDP leaders, who, as a mark of protest, did not attend Thursday’s swearing-in ceremony of the newly-elected council members in the winter capital Jammu. Mehbooba too conveyed her displeasure to the BJP high command over the “cross-voting” of the independent MLA.

The PDP leadership believes Rizvi was successfully “turned” by the BJP.

This followed a statement by senior BJP leader and Industries Minister Chandra Prakash Ganga, who said in Jammu that stone pelters were anti-nationals against whom bullets should be used.

PDP vice-president Sartaj Madni termed this “intimidating and insidious”. He said the minister had contravened the decision of the state cabinet that had expressed anguish over the recent loss of precious human lives in the valley.

The BJP-PDP gulf widened further after BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav justified the army’s action of tying a youth to the front of a jeep to avoid stone pelters.            — IANS

Tagged with: