Upset over the release of separatist leader Masarat Alam in Jammu and Kashmir, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today gave an “ultimatum” to its ally PDP, asserting it will not tolerate such acts and there will be no compromise with national security – this is the line that Amit Shah has also reiterated to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) after the organisation, which has indicated it is not at all happy with the Kashmir imbroglio, demanded an explanation.
According to highly-placed party sources, the BJP central leadership has conveyed to the PDP top brass that remaining in power in the state is not a priority for the party and that it will not allow any further deviation from the common minimum programme set by the two parties after days of mutual discussions.
Dashing to Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Chief Minister and BJP leader Nirmal Singh met party chief Amit Shah at the latter’s residence and apprised him of the situation in the state in the wake of the release of the separatist leader on Saturday last.
After the meeting, highly-placed BJP sources said a terse warning has been given to PDP top brass that “any such unilateral action will not be tolerated any more”.
“BJP’s central leadership has given an ultimatum to the PDP top brass that it will not tolerate any further compromise on national security with the unilateral release of Masarat Alam,” the sources said.
They said the BJP top brass is angry over Masarat’s “unilateral” release by PDP without consultations with BJP and warned that it will not allow any more such releases of separatists or militants.
The BJP central leadership has conveyed to the PDP that “remaining in power is not a priority for BJP and it will not allow any laxity on the issue of national security and in dealing with separatists and militants”, the sources said.
BJP has said there should be no further release of militants or political prisoners in Jammu and Kashmir without proper consultations between the two allies.
The party also said it had a “zero-tolerance policy towards terrorism and separatism” and strongly opposed Alam’s release.
As Opposition stepped up the heat, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh also made it clear that his government’s top priority is national security and not the continuance of government in the state.
BJP is sharing power with PDP in Jammu and Kashmir after the December assembly elections threw a fractured verdict.
“My government will not compromise with national security at any cost. For us any government, whether in alliance or not, that is not our priority. Our priority is country and its security. You should understand this intention of ours.
“I will only make only one statement as of now, as I had said in Parliament yesterday. For us, government is not the priority but for us country is priority and it is topmost,” the Home Minister said.
Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said BJP was against the decision to release Alam, a Hurriyat hardliner.
“BJP adopts a zero-tolerance policy towards terrorism and separatism and will not bow down by allowing soft or weak policy on these issues,” he said.
“The manner in which a separatist leader has been released, BJP does not agree with it. We are against it. It is wrong,” he said.
During the meeting between Shah and Nirmal Singh, sources said the latter informed the party chief the state unit’s stand on the controversial release and the memorandum it had handed over to Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.
The sources said during the meeting, Nirmal Singh told Shah that he and other state party leaders had raised strong objections to Alam’s release, which was done unilaterally by ally PDP without discussion with BJP.
Other senior party leaders from the state including party president Jugal Kishore Sharma also met Shah.
The party leaders in the state had yesterday protested against Mufti’s decision to release Alam without consultations with BJP and handed over a memorandum to him, conveying the party leadership’s “annoyance” over the matter.
The party leaders conveyed to Sayeed that the decision to release Alam was not discussed with BJP and done unilaterally and stressed that the alliance partners should strictly adhere to the CMP.