Mehbooba to meet Modi today

Mehbooba to meet Modi today

NEW DELHI:  Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi here Monday amid the deteriorating security situation in the state and strains in the PDP-BJP coalition.
Mehbooba, who is under mounting attack in the face of fresh spurt in violence in Kashmir, is expected to discuss with Modi the prevailing situation in the state and the way forward.
She is likely to press for some political initiative from the centre to address the alienation among the people of Kashmir, particularly the youth, which is being reflected in increasing incidents of stone-pelting.
Mehbooba’s meeting with the Prime Minister is also taking place against the backdrop of recent bypoll to Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency which witnessed largescale 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.
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.

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