Cabinet to meet today after PDP-BJP spat over tackling Kashmir protests

The State Cabinet will meet in Jammu today after days of hectic squabbling between two coalition partners PDP and BJP over dealing with the protests and stone pelting in Kashmir.

The cabinet meeting will be chaired by Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, early morning, a top government official said. Meeting has been scheduled in the winter capital Jammu at around 11 am tomorrow and comes days after CM asked the army and police top brass to exercise restraint.

Earlier Chief Minister chaired the Unified Command meeting on Tuesday asking the forces to exercise restraint while dealing with the civilian unrest and the anti-militancy operations in Kashmir. Mehbooba Mufti directed the security agencies to avoid collateral damage while dealing with the anti-militancy operations and the law and order situations.  CM directed the security agencies to improve the public interface and make it a regular affair.

The cabinet meeting on Friday will be the last in Jammu before the closure of offices in the winter capital. As part of the annual Darbar move arrangements offices will close in Jammu tomorrow only and the offices shall re-open in Srinagar on May 8. A number of transfers in the administration are likely on the cards, even as the government will take stock of the arrangements for the shifting of offices to Srinagar. Earlier government has issued directions that all departments shall ensure that the records are packed after working hours on the last day.

Chief Minister, Mehbooba, will also brief the cabinet of the outcome of her meeting with the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. A senior official said that the meeting is going to be fiery in the wake of differences between collation partners on Kashmir unrest and the attack on the Gujjars in Reasi district of Jammu region.

Earlier PDP reacted sharply to the BJP Minister Chandra Prakash Ganga’s remark that youth throwing stones in Kashmir should be dealt with bullets.  Strongly condemning, what he termed the grossly insensitive remarks, PDP Vice-President, Mohammad Sartaj Madni, said that such disgusting utterances are not only unjustifiable but perilous as well.  “It is unbecoming of a senior Minister in the Government to dish out such a sweeping, sickening and intimidating statement against the Kashmiri youth,” Madni had said in a statement. A senior cabinet Minister confirmed that the cabinet meeting was being held tomorrow. He however added that the BJP has already issued the statement that there were no differences in the coalition.

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