New Delhi: Amid turbulent atmosphere in the Valley, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday to discuss the situation and possibly formulate a solution.
Besides her meeting with the Prime Minister, the Chief Minister will also meet Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
Speaking to media after meeting, J&K Chief Minister said:
“I discussed security situation in Jammu and Kashmir, low voter turnout in recent bypolls with PM Modi” Mehbooba Mufti said.
“Our agenda of alliance was discussed. Mufti sahab always advocated dicussion over violence and I agree with this,” J&K CM added.
The PDP and the BJP, which are running the coalition government in the troubled state, are not on the same page on the issue of dealing with the growing trend of stone-pelting and this has led to friction between them.
A BJP minister Chander Prakash Ganga recently advocated strong action, saying “traitors and stone-pelters should be treated with bullets”.
This comment drew the ire of the PDP, which said there was a “conspiracy” to keep trouble brewing in the Valley.
“Such detestable remarks not only reflect the nauseous mentality of some extremist politicians in the state, but also expose the larger design of certain elements to provoke fresh trouble in Kashmir so that Kashmiris are pushed into perpetual educational and economic dis-empowerment,” senior PDP leader Peerzada Mansoor had said in a statement later.
Against the backdrop of the strains, BJP’s pointsman for Jammu and Kashmir Ram Madhav on Friday last held a meeting with senior PDP leader Haseeb Drabu in Jammu.
Madhav then met Ganga, who later expressed regret for his controversial comment.
Earlier Prime Minister Modi on Sunday suggested that other states should organise events in Jammu and Kashmir and urged them to reach out to the students from the Valley studying in other states.
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According to a statement issued by Niti Aayog, Prime Minister Narendra Modi “seconded the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister’s suggestion that states should take interest in the students from her state who are studying in other states”.
“He urged states to reach out to these students from time to time,” the statement said.
The meeting today also comes in the backdrop of recent bypoll to Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency which witnessed massive violence and the lowest turnout ever.
In the bypoll, the PDP also lost the seat to National Conference, just in nearly three years after the 2014 general elections.
With the Jammu and Kashmir Government led by Mufti drawing sharp criticism in wake of the recent unrest in the Valley, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Ram Madhav earlier on Friday held a meeting with Finance Minister and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leader Haseeb Drabu to discuss the future strategy.
The meeting assumed significance as the BJP is a coalition partner of the PDP in Jammu and Kashmir.
BJP leaders Avinash Rai Khanna and Satpal Sharma were also among those who attended the meeting held at the BJP office here.
Stone pelting incidents have increased manifold in the region since the BJP-PDP Government came to power in 2015.
The issue of Kashmir unrest also featured in the BJP’s core group meeting headed by Prime Minister Modi a couple of days ago.
National Conference president Farooq Abdullah, who won the Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency bypoll on has demanded that Governor’s rule be imposed in Jammu and Kashmir as the state government had failed to ensure a peaceful election.
Slamming the BJP-PDP Government in the Valley, National Conference’s working president Omar Abdullah has questioned the handling of students’ protests.
Eight people were killed in clashes during the by-election in Anantnag last week.
The violence prompted the Election Commission to postpone voting.
Last week, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat apprised National Security Advisor Ajit Doval of the security situation in Kashmir.
Rawat’s meeting with Doval on April 16 came a day after he had separate deliberations with Chief Minister Mufti and Governor N.N. Vohra over the law and order situation in Kashmir during his visit to the state.
As many as 411 stone-pelting incidents have been reported in the Kashmir Valley from October 2016 to March 2017.