Mufti’s Pak remark rebutted by BJP, Sajjad Lone plays safe

Security forces, people and election commission get credit for Jamuu and Kashmir’s polls

GN Bureau | March 2, 2015


#jammu and Kashmir   #mufti mohammed sayeed   #bjp   #mukhtar naqvi   #election   #security forces   #Pakistan  

Seeking to take sting out of Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed's provocative statement crediting "people from across the border" for conduct of assembly polls, the BJP on Monday said that it is people of the state, security forces and Election Commission should be given the credit.

BJP leader and union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the people of the state, security forces and Election Commission should be the ones who should get the credit for the polls. "If someone asks us, we only have to say that it is the people of J&K, the Election Commission (EC) and the security forces, whether central or state, who have with full zeal and enthusiasm, ensured the fulfillment of this vital democratic exercise," Naqvi told reporters.

Earlier, the same sentiments were expressed by local leader and Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha state president Ravinder Raina . "The credit for the recently held elections in Jammu and Kashmir goes to the Election Commission, the Indian Army and Indian paramilitary forces. Pakistan has always caused disturbances and the Hurriyat had put up banners calling for boycotting the elections," said Raina

Former separatist leader and newly inducted minister Sajjad Lone chose to downplay the statement. "All the focus is going to be on development. Only one day has passed, let us focus on hope, not hopelessness," he said.

On Sunday, Sayeed took oath as the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir for the second time in his political career.

BJP leader Nirmal Singh also took oath as the state's deputy chief minister. They were administered the oath of office by Governor NN Vohra at the General Zorawar Singh Auditorium in Jammu University. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah and party veteran L K Advani were among those who attended the ceremony.

At his maiden news conference as chief minister Mufti said “I want to say this on record and I have told this to the Prime Minister (also) that we must credit Hurriyat, Pakistan, militant outfits for the conduct of assembly elections."

 "God forbid if they would have done something, it would  not have been possible to have smooth conduct of the elections." "People from across the border made the atmosphere conducive," he continued. "They also allowed the democratic process to continue in the state. This gives us a hope."

Sayeed said any subversive activity could have affected participation, especially in Srinagar. "I am proud that Srinagar, the heart of Kashmir also came forward and voted," he said.

The press conference was largely about Sayeed's idea of peace and prosperity, for which he believes good neighborly relations with Pakistan are vital. Referring to the perception of Gujarat as a model state for growth, he said, "If J&K has to be a model like that, peace is the basic requirement." Mufti said. "Creating this coalition is an act of conviction and not compulsion," Sayeed said.

"When we talked about engaging Pakistan, we were told that it is a foreign affairs issue and then we explained how J&K is impacted when there is shelling and they understood it," he said

Sharp reactions
"Pakistan, Huriyaat & Militants ALLOWED peaceful conduct of elections" says Mufti Syed. I guess we should be grateful for their generosity (sic)," former chief minister Omar Abdullah said in a message on Twitter. "Dear @BJP4India Please explain roll of security forces & polling staff considering your CM just said "Pakistan allowed elections in J&K"."

The Panthers Party, a regional outfit based in Udhampur that was wiped out in the election, said the CM's comments were farfetched. "If the elections took place peacefully in J&K, if people's participation was there, it was mainly because of the contribution and the cooperation of the Indian army," party leader Bhim Singh said. He is seeking an explanation from the PM.

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