Muftis trying to force BJP to break alliance, says Omar

Written by: IANS
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Srinagar, March 2: Is Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and his daughter Mehbooba Mufti trying to force the BJP to break their alliance, wondered former chief minister Omar Abdullah on Monday.

"Has Mufti decided the Modi-Mufti accord was a mistake? Are the father-daughter duo trying to force BJP to break off the alliance?," tweeted Omar after Sayeed credited peaceful polls in the state to Pakistan, separatist Hurriyat leaders and militants.

File photo of Omar Abdullah

Sayeed had spoken soon after being sworn in chief minister Sunday. Mufti will head the PDP-BJP coalition government in the state and will be the chief minister for a full six-year term.

Meanwhile, PDP president Mehbooba Mufti has said she stood by the remarks made by her father Mufti Muhammad Sayeed who gave credit to separatist leaders, militants and Pakistan for the smooth conduct of the assembly election.

Reacting to the criticism against her father's remarks made Sunday during a media conference in winter capital Jammu immediately after taking over as the chief minister, Mehbooba Mufti told reporters: "I stand by the remarks made by Mufti Sahib. He is not a person who makes a remark and later denies having made it."

"If the separatists have not gone from door to door telling people to boycott those elections, we should acknowledge that."

Sayeed had ruffled many a feather especially among his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ruling ally by telling his first media conference that had Pakistan, Hurriyat and the militants tried to disrupt elections in the state last year, there would not have been good participation.

"If God forbid the Hurriyat and the militants tried to disrupt the elections these would not have been as participative as they had been," Sayeed had told the media here.

Referring to Pakistan, Sayeed had said, "They (Pakistan) also allowed these elections to take place."

The chief minister's remarks were seen in poor light especially by the BJP, since these remarks, according to Sayeed's critics, amount to depriving the election commission and the security forces of the credit they deserve for the smooth conduct of the poll process in Jammu and Kashmir.

Sayeed's remarks also attracted criticism from former state chief minister, Omar Abdullah and the leader of the Congress party in the Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad who demanded an explanation from the central government over these remarks.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh reacted to Sayeed's statement in the Lok Sabha on Monday, asserting that the credit for the smooth conduct of the election goes to the Election Commission of India, the security forces and the people of the state.

Rajnath Singh said the BJP government and the party dissociate themselves from the remarks made by Sayeed.

Singh said he was making the statement after talking to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.


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