Parliament was on Monday rocked over Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s remarks giving credit to Pakistan, Hurriyat and militants for the smooth conduct of polls in the state, prompting the government and BJP to “fully dissociate” with it.
Describing the remarks as “anti-national” and “serious”, opposition parties slammed Sayeed and wanted a statement from Prime Minister Narendra Modi as BJP has a tie-up with PDP in Jammu and Kashmir.
The opposition also wanted a resolution by Parliament to condemn Sayeed’s remarks and hail the role of security forces as well as the Election Commission in conduct of the polls in November-December last year.
The issue was raised in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, a day after Sayeed made the remarks soon after taking oath of office and secrecy.
In view of the uproar, Home Minister Rajnath Singh asserted in Lok Sabha that “the government and his party (BJP) fully disassociate” themselves from the remarks made by Sayeed.
Dissatisfied with Singh’s response, almost the entire Opposition staged a walkout.
Earlier, K C Venugopal (Cong) raised the issue, saying “this is a serious issue” as he quoted Sayeed as saying that he had also had a word with the Prime Minister.
He said Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh of BJP was sitting next to the Chief Minister but had given no clarification.
Venugopal said militants killed six village sarpanchs and mounted suicide attacks on Army units. “This cannot be called creating a conducive atmosphere,” he said, adding that the credit for smooth conduct of elections should be given to the people of the state, the Election Commission and security personnel.
“The Prime Minister’s silence is shocking…the House should condemn it. We should pass a resolution,” he said.
The Home Minister said he wanted to make it clear that “the government and his party (BJP) fully disassociate themselves” from the remarks made by Sayeed. The Opposition was on its feet demanding a statement by the Prime Minister.
Leader of Congress Mallikarjun Kharge said since the Prime Minister was told by Sayeed that he feels that the credit should go to Hurriyat, militants and Pakistan for smooth conduct of J and K assembly polls, Modi should make a statement. “Only PM can explain,” he said.
At this, Rajnath Singh said he has spoken to the Prime Minister in this regard and was making the statement with his knowledge and consent.
Later he also made it clear that Sayeed had not spoken about this statement with the Prime Minister.
“For the smooth conduct of polls, I congratulate the people of J and K. I credit the EC, the Army and personnel of paramilitary forces…the people have to be ctredited for the large voter turnout,” Singh said.
In Rajya Sabha, Congress member Shantaram Naik termed Sayeed’s statement “anti-national”.
He said “this statement is bordering anti-national… this is violative of oath of office as he is showing allegiance to forces which are anti-national”.
The people of Jammu & Kashmir, Election Commission and security forces made the elections possible and Sayeed did not give credit to them, he said.
Among the 24 ministers sworn-in, brother of one of them is in Hurriyat and has a Pakistani wife, he said.
He said Modi had during the election campaign called for discussion on Article 370 but is now evading it.
Responding to the attack, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the credit for peaceful conduct of Lok Sabha elections in May last year and then the assembly polls “goes to the wonderful people of Jammu and Kashmir, Leh and Kargil, the Election Commission and security forces.”
The enthusiastic participation of the people in these elections as well as the security forces and the poll panel “are responsible for the peaceful conduct of elections. We congratulate them”, he said.