Abrupt manner of Alam’s release created trouble, says state BJP

Iqbal Kirmani

Srinagar: J&K unit of BJP Tuesday said the party has no issues with Muslim League chairman Masrat Alam’s release, but the “abrupt manner” in which he was released.
“Had Chief Minister (Mufti Mohammad Sayeed) followed a proper procedure and had a committee been formed to clear Alam’s release, there would have been no sharp reaction,” state BJP general secretary (organisation) Ashok Koul told reporters on the sidelines on a one-day party workers meet here.
Koul said Alam’s release came as a surprise that prompted a sharp reaction from Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Parliament.
“The way Mufti Sayeed worked after becoming CM gave rise to suspicion that he has a hidden agenda and that he is working on some other common minimum programme,” Koul said.
He was referring to Mufti’s statements thanking Hurriyat, Pakistan and militants for smooth polls that he made soon after taking over as the office of the CM.
When asked that BJP’s reaction had shifted limelight on Alam, Koul said his party was hurt by his statement that he had “come out of a small prison into a large one”.
“He is free a man now. If he continues to speak in the same tone he should be arrested,” said Koul, while reiterating his party’s stand that prisoners should be released only after consultations and review of case files by a cabinet committee.
He said same procedure should be adopted in case of Muslim Deeni Mahaz leader Dr Ashiq Hussain Faktoo alias Mohammad Qasim, who is serving life sentence.
Koul said the BJP was not against holding talks with pro-freedom groups.
“What is wrong in talking to separatists? Atal Bihari Vajpayee too held negotiations with them,” he said.
Asked about media reports suggesting People’s Conference Sajad Lone’s discontentment over Animal Husbandry portfolio, Koul said, “He will soon join his office.”