Ram Madhav meets CM amid strain in BJP-PDP ties


Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday said that her government would first restore normalcy in the Valley before initiating talks with the separatists.

She made the comments during her meeting with BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav here.

BJP National General Secretary, Ram Madhav, met the Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, here following the deterioration in security scenario and the rift between the coalition partners over handling of Kashmir unrest.

Madhav had a near 30-minute meeting with Mehbooba at her Fairview residence in Gupkar today afternoon following which he flew to New Delhi.

“In a period of two-three months, you will see a changed Jammu and Kashmir. Next few months are really crucial for us,” she told Madhav.

“We will first restore the normalcy, than we will talk. This issue is as old as 70 years,” Mufti said.

She also said that the Centre must reach out to the disillusioned youth to restore peace.

“We must start from where Vajpayee ji left… Modi ji has repeatedly said that he would follow the footsteps of Vajpayee ji, whose policy was of reconciliation, not confrontation,” she said.

Madhav on Saturday slammed the separatists for using Kashmiri youth as “guinea pigs”during protests. He said there won’t be talks with separatists till they stop violence.

He had come from Jammu for a meeting with CM, which assumes significance after his recent statement indicating hard posture towards separatists and the free rein to security forces to handle the Kashmir situation.

Madhav had come to Jammu on Saturday along with BJP national president, Amit Shah, where they held meeting with the party leaders after the escalation in tensions with PDP.

Confirming that Madhav met CM, BJP spokesperson, Khalid Jahangir, said that the party national general secretary flew to Delhi, while as Amit Shah will return back to national capital on Monday. Shah, he said, had a meeting with the party leaders during the day.

Madhav’s meeting with Mehbooba comes in the wake of the deteriorating law and order situation here and rift between the coalition partners over statements by Madhav himself and senior BJP leader and Industries Minister Chandra Prakash Ganga over handling of Kashmir situation. Ganga had fueled controversy by calling for use of bullets on stone pelters in the Valley.

PDP also expressed displeasure over Madhav’s comments complimenting an army officer who had tied a man to the bonnet of a jeep to escape stone-pelting in a Kashmir village.

Following the differences Chief Minister and PDP president, Mehbooba Mufti, during the party’s core committee meeting earlier in Srinagar, which was convened to apprise the top leadership of the outcome of her meeting with Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, was asked by some of the leaders that the PDP should snap ties with the BJP. 

Reportedly, former Deputy Chief and senior PDP leader, Muzafar Hussain Beg, had called for breaking ties with the BJP.

Both PDP and BJP have maintained a divergent line over the handling of Kashmir protests. Over Ganga’s remarks on handling of protests PDP Vice President, Sartaj Madni, had taken exception terming them as uncalled for. 

Also senior PDP leader and Education Minister, Altaf Bukhari, had slammed Ram Madhav stating that his remarks “everything is fair in love and war” over use of human shield by army would legitimize crime. BJP hit back saying Minister’s remarks would “encourage separatists and other secessionists.”

Sources said that Madhav and Mehbooba discussed the prevailing situation, by-polls and the issues between coalition partners.

Sources said that Madhav was sent to Kashmir by the party president Amit Shah in which Shah has conveyed that he was misquoted by media in Jammu about focusing on Jammu and Ladakh to win 2020 assembly elections.

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