No threat to coalition: PDP, BJP

Updated - November 17, 2021 01:02 am IST

Published - March 10, 2015 02:28 pm IST - SRINAGAR

This March 9, 2015 photo shows separatist leader Masrat Alam at his home in Srinagar.

This March 9, 2015 photo shows separatist leader Masrat Alam at his home in Srinagar.

Amid uproar over the release of separatist leader Masarat Alam in Srinagar over the weekend, the Peoples Democratic Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party, coalition partners in Jammu and Kashmir, maintained that their alliance was safe and sound.

“There is no threat to the coalition government; there are hitches here and there but the coalition government is safe and we also want it to last its full term for peace and development in the State,” Ashok Koul, State BJP general secretary, told The Hindu .

Several senior leaders and Cabinet Ministers in the PDP also confirmed that the coalition was cruising along “very well” and said it was the media that had turned the “legal release of a man into a major controversy.”

“There is no threat to the coalition, as of now. We have had differences of opinion before and we have them now on several issues but we knew that it was going to be so and took that into consideration. We are getting along well with each other,” a senior PDP leader and Cabinet Minister told The Hindu.

While both the political partners seem to understand each other’s compulsions, the BJP’s major grouse over Alam’s release is not the release itself but its timing and that it was not consulted.

“No one heeds [Syed Ali] Geelani’s hartal call in Kashmir anymore. They [separatists] have become irrelevant in that sense, so we don’t mind Masarat Alam’s release, but the fact that we were not asked about it, and, not even informed, is a problem. Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh should at least have known about it,” Mr. Koul said.

“If he was released after, say, two months and after a process that involved the BJP, we would have had no problem. Mufti [Mohammad Sayeed] is not the CM of PDP, he is CM because of the BJP,” Mr. Koul said.

The PDP, meanwhile, believes that the BJP is buckling under the “meaningless media uproar for TRPs” and not standing by a decision that is right and is in the interest of India.

“If Masarat belonged to any other State but Kashmir and the Supreme Court of India asked for him to be released and the State government was hell-bent upon keeping him still in prison, the whole country would have gotten together to free him. But here, the whole country has ganged up to stop his release,” PDP’s chief spokesperson Nayeem Akhter told The Hindu .

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