Modi disowns Mufti’s approach

Updated - November 17, 2021 01:02 am IST

Published - March 10, 2015 03:12 am IST - New Delhi:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. File photo

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. File photo

An intense opposition attack in both houses of Parliament over the release of separatist Masarat Alam by the new PDP-BJP government in Jammu and Kashmir, compelled Prime Minister Narendra Modi to denounce the decision and say he shared the sense of outrage.

Mr Modi’s strong statement has further strained the wobbly alliance that assumed power in the State only eight days ago.

With opposition strategists indicating to The Hindu that they were in no hurry to let the BJP off the hook, and BJP leaders hinting at a reassessment of the partnership, the longevity of the PDP-BJP alliance is in question.

Mr. Modi’s admission that the State government had neither consulted nor informed the Centre about what was happening in J&K, sparked off protests and a walkout in the Lok Sabha by MPs belonging to the Congress, NCP, Trinamool Congress, the Left Parties, the Samajwadi Party and the AAP.

The opposition challenged the BJP to withdraw its support from the PDP-led government and call for fresh elections if that was the case. Interestingly, the AIADMK also took the same line though its MPs did not join the walkout.

For the BJP-led NDA government, already working overtime to convince a recalcitrant opposition to cooperate in getting a slew of Bills through Parliament, the events unfolding in the northern state within days of the Mufti government being sworn in, has taken it completely by surprise.

A senior Cabinet minister acknowledged that the party had hoped that the PDP and the BJP would work together on the “development” of the state — the Centre, he added, had recently even announced an AIIMS for the state. He admitted that the BJP had not expected things to unravel so fast and said that there would be a fresh “re-assessment” on the issue soon.

Of course, the long-term plans of the BJP for J& K include holding fresh delimitation in the state that could change the Jammu-Kashmir balance of power.

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