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news details
PDP-BJP coalition in jeopardy
News Analysis
4/21/2017 11:04:42 PM
Early Times Report

JAMMU, Apr 21: Developments which unfolded during the past 48 hours do not auger well for the future of the PDP-BJP coalition government. Not one but two BJP leaders hit hard on stone pelters and anti-India elements in Kashmir and swung solidly behind the army and paramilitary forces involved in counter-terrorist operations. The statements were made by the architect of the PDP-BJP coalition and BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav and BJP minister in the Mufti-led coalition government Chander Prakash Ganga.
On the one hand, Ram Madhav defended the Army for using a Kashmiri as human shield in Kashmir and declared that "everything is fair in love and war". He took the line the chief legal advisor to the Government of India Attorney General Mukul Rohtagi took in the Supreme Court of India on April 19 while defending the Army's actions in Kashmir. On the other hand, Chander Prakash Ganga declared in Jammu that shooting stone-pelters and traitors was the only option left to tackle the menace terrorism and separatism in the Valley. "Latoan Ke Bhoot Batoan Se Nahin Mante," said Industries Minister CP Ganga. Of course, later in the evening, he issued a clarification that he didn't mean what he said but the damage had already been done. The statements of Ram Madhav and Chander Prakash Ganga, as expected, evoked a very strong reaction not only from the PDP but also from the NC, Kashmiri business leaders and others. PDP was all the more critical. Not one but three senior PDP leaders denounced not only the Industries Minister CP Ganga but also Ram Madhav.
"These statements smack of a hyper-nationalist environment in the country. Unfortunately, people with right-wing approach consider any support for human rights in Kashmir to be anti-national. Let Mr. Madhav be reminded that no civilized society can afford to use its' citizens as shields for military operations," Minister for Education, Mohammad Altaf Bukhari said on Friday. "Modern nations operate under the presumption that in the case of armed conflict, the State must do everything to ensure civilians are not hurt. However, Mr. Madhav seems to be justifying what is unjustifiable under law. Almost all general legal approaches consider human shields illegal both in domestic circumstances and international conflicts," Bukhari further said.
Altaf Mukhari dismissed CP Ganga, his own colleague in the Mehbooba Mufti Cabinet, as intellectually bankrupt. "Chander Prakash Ganga's remarks speak volumes about intellectual bankruptcy of a person who is holding the responsibility of a public office. Bullets have only created havoc in the world and have brought an enforced thus temporary peace in certain regions. Bullets can't win you a battle of ideas. PDP believes that dialogue is the only way out. Unfortunately, instead of initiating dialogue as a confidence building measure to re-instill a sense of belonging among bruised Kashmiris, some BJP insiders are trying to sabotage the whole peace process initiated under Mr. Vajpayee regime," Bukhari said on Friday.
Earlier on Thursday, PDP vice-president Sartaj Madni had denounced the statement of Chander Prakash Ganga, "The remarks of BJP Minister Chandra Prakash Ganga that Kashmiri youth should be dealt with bullets only are disgusting utterances which reveal "a poisonous mindset towards Kashmir", said Madni, adding that "such disgusting utterances are not only unjustifiable but perilous as well". "It is unbecoming of a senior minister to dish out such a sweeping, sickening and intimidating statement against Kashmiri youth," Sartaj Madni said.
Not just this, the party also fielded its chief spokesman Mehboob Beg to take on Chander Prakash Ganga. He said the remarks of the BJP Minister shows the poisonous mindset which they need to change. "Look at the mindset and the language used, it is highly regretful," said Beg, adding that "this will only hurt the alliance and this is not going to help the cause of ensuring peace in Kashmir." "This isn't what Mufti Sahab wanted when he shook hands with them (BJP)," he further said.
These were not ordinary statements. These were a scathing attack on the BJP leaders. It is only natural that the NC, the arch-rival of the PDP, has seen in this war of words between the PDP and the BJP another opportunity to attack the PDP and tarnish its image in the Valley by seeking to convey a feeling among Kashmiri Muslims that the PDP has formed an alliance with a party which wants the Army to kill the Kashmiris.
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