Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh today met party President Amit Shah and apprised him of the situation in the state in the wake of the release of separatist leader Masarat Alam.
According to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) sources, Singh met Shah at the latter’s residence here and informed him of the party 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, 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.
BJP is sharing power with PDP in Jammu and Kashmir after the December assembly elections threw a fractured verdict.
The Deputy Chief Minister also informed the party chief about the steps taken with regard to release of other separatist leaders in future, with BJP telling the Chief Minister that no step would be taken without discussion and consultation with it.
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, which was against the agenda of the Common Minimum Programme agreed between the allies.
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 did not agree with the move and was against it.
Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said BJP was against the decision to release Alam, a Hurriyat hardliner.
Union Minister Naqvi said, “BJP adopts a zero-tolerance policy towards terrorism and separatism and will not bow down by allowing soft or weak policy on these issues.”
“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, adding Home Minister Rajnath Singh had yesterday made it clear in both Houses of Parliament and was keeping a close watch on the issue.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had yesterday in Lok Sabha denounced the release of Alam by the J-K government, in which BJP is a partner, saying he shared the “outrage” over the unacceptable decision and would take whatever action was required.
The sources said BJP’s central leadership was “upset” over the unilateral decision to release the separatist leader and is learnt to have decided that there will be no compromise on the Common Minimum Programme hereafter.
During today’s meeting between the Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Chief Minister and Shah, the two leaders are learnt to have decided that there should be “no diversion” from the agenda of development and the government’s priority was helping the poor and the backward and providing job opportunities to the youth of the state.
The BJP leadership has made it clear that the party’s priority is not to remain in government and that there should be no compromise on the issue of national security.