Ahmadabad, March 19: BJP president Amit Shah has said that party may quit coalition government if 'Kashmir issue' will not be resolved. The statement has come in the backdrop of recent spates of controversies including release of separatist leader Masarrat Alam.
While addressing BJP workers in his assembly constituency Naranpura here on Wednesday, Shah categorically said that for BJP national interest is above all and party will not compromise on that front.
"People of this country have blessed us like Lord Shiva and given us very big responsibility. BJP will never compromise on national interest, merely to remain in power in Jammu and Kashmir," BJP president said.
Speaking assertively, he further added, "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".
However, BJP's spokesperson Harshad Patel in Gujarat said that Shah merely said 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.
BJP has been facing the ire of opposition parties due to its alliance with PDP with the J&K Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed's recent decision to release separatist leader Masarrat Alam, only adding to its woes.
Hardline separatist leader Masarrat Alam, who spearheaded the 2010 summer agitation in Kashmir was recently released from jail. Alam was arrested in October 2010 at the end of a bloody summer agitation in Kashmir, which left over 120 youth dead in security forces action, and was detained under Public Safety Act (PSA).
Facing fire, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had clarified before the Lok Sabha that Alam's release is not acceptable and that the government won't tolerate any compromise on the nation's integrity.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had also echoed the sentiments saying that his government's top priority was national security and not continuance of the government in the state.
Earlier, PDP leaders demanded the return of the mortal remains of Afzal Guru to the Valley. Afzal Guru, sentenced to death in the 2001 parliament attack case, was hanged on February 9, 2013 when Congress-led UPA was in the power.
The demand came close on the heels of Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed's earlier remark where he gave credit for peaceful voting in the state to Pakistan and separatists.
(With inputs from agencies)