PM Disapproves Mufti's Comments On Elections

3 March 2015
The Daily Excelsior

New Delhi: In an unambiguous disapproval of controversial remarks made by the new Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made it clear today that the BJP-PDP Government in the State would run only on the basis of the CMP worked out by the two parties and there would be 'zero tolerance' of terrorism. Modi also said in the Rajya Sabha that the credit for the successful elections in J&K goes to the people of the State who 'removed doubts' in the international community by turning up in large numbers with 'overwhelming courage and pride' and 'put their stamp of approval on what India had been saying all along'. After he was sworn in as Chief Minister on Sunday, Sayeed gave credit to Pakistan, Hurriyat and militants for the smooth conduct of elections in the state, kicking up a huge controversy. 'If somebody makes such a statement, we can never support it,' Modi said referring to the controversial remarks made by Sayeed who is heading a PDP-BJP coalition Government in the State. Members in the House have been demanding Modi's response to the remarks made by Sayeed. 'If somebody makes a statement somewhere and we are forced to respond here, things will not work,' the Prime Minister said. He asserted that his Government 'will move ahead with the policy of 'zero tolerance' towards terrorism' and 'all resolutions passed here (in Parliament) will be implemented in letter and spirit.' Modi underlined the faith in people of J&K while asserting his Government's commitment to unity and integrity. On questions by some members whether BJP will pull out of the coalition Government over the issue, Modi said the Government will run only on the basis of Common Minimum Programme (CMP). 'I want to assure this House and 125 crore people of the country that the Government formed in Jammu and Kashmir is based on the Common Minimum Programme and the Government will run on its basis,' he said while replying to the Motion of Thanks to the President's Address. Meanwhile, Government today said it did not endorse the controversial statement of Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed on the State Assembly polls, after a vociferous Opposition disrupted Lok Sabha proceedings seeking a clarification from the Prime Minister. Responding to the Opposition demand, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said 'there is no question of welcoming such remarks' and 'there is no question of endorsing the Chief Minister's statement.' Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said what the 'Home Minister has said is the sense of the House. Let us move forward', following which the Opposition unrest over the issue died down. The Home Minister said he has already made it clear that the Government and BJP fully disassociate themselves from Sayeed's statement and added that the credit for the smooth conduct of J&K assembly polls goes to the Election Commission, the Army, paramilitary forces and the people of the State. The Opposition had earlier created an uproar demanding a clarification from the Prime Minister on the statement by Sayeed, who had courted controversy within hours of taking oath on Sunday saying the Hurriyat, militant outfits and 'people from across the border' - in an oblique reference to Pakistan - allowed conducive atmosphere for the polls. A combined Opposition disrupted the Question Hour, forcing Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to adjourn the proceedings twice for brief periods in quick succession. When the House met, Mahajan allowed Saugata Roy (Trinamool Congress) and Deepender Hooda (Cong), who had given adjournment notices on the matter, to briefly put across their points. Roy said the issue was sensitive as the Home Minister had informed the House yesterday that the Prime Minister was not told by Sayeed about his views on the smooth conduct of polls, even as the Chief Minister had claimed he had spoken to Modi on the issue. Raising the issue, Hooda said distancing from Sayeed's remarks 'is not enough and the House must pass a resolution condemning the statement' of the Chief Minister. He said the Chief Minister should be 'reined in' as BJP is an alliance partner in the State Government. The Home Minister said since he has already clarified on the stand of the Centre and the BJP, there was no need to raise the issue again today. Leader of Congress Mallikarjun Kharge also said a statement by the Prime Minister was necessary as the people wanted to know the stand of the Government. 'Sky will not fall if PM makes a statement,' he said. The Speaker said the Home Minister's statement was enough as he has an authority to speak on the Government's behalf. Not satisfied, opposition members from Congress, Trinamool Congress, the Left, JD(U) and RJD rushed in to the Well of the House, raising slogans like 'Pradhan Mantri statement do' and 'ninda prastav (resolution condemning Sayeed's remarks) lana hoga.' The Question Hour resumed after the Home Minister and Naidu's statement following two adjournments of 15 minutes each.