Mufti's Deputy Smells A Plot

14 March 2015
The Telegraph (Kolkata)


Srinagar: The BJP's topmost minister in Mufti Mohammad Sayeed's cabinet today accused some state officials of conspiring against the government, in the latest controversy to hit the coalition. Deputy chief minister Nirmal Singh said an attempt had been made to destabilise the Jammu and Kashmir government, apparently referring to Thursday's circular that re-affirmed equal sanctity for the state flag and the Tricolour but was withdrawn in less than 24 hours. 'I can say with confidence a big conspiracy was hatched against the government,' Singh said in Jammu. Singh did not identify the suspects but official sources said the government believed that some officials in the general administration department were involved. The government yesterday ordered a probe 'into the circumstances leading to the issuing of the circular' and promised 'appropriate action'. A spokesperson claimed the circular had not been approved by a 'competent authority'. The PDP-BJP coalition has been struggling to have a smooth run since the Mufti himself stoked a controversy by thanking Pakistan and militant outfits for ensuring peaceful polls. His PDP then slammed the decision to hang Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, before the state government released a separatist leader, angering the BJP. But this is the first time that the BJP is veering towards an opinion that somebody else is trying to destabilise the coalition. The circular said the state flag has, according to the state Constitution, same sanctity and position as the national flag has under the Indian Constitution. The order was withdrawn after objections from the BJP, which has traditionally opposed special status, including a separate flag, for the state. The withdrawal of the circular has come as an embarrassment for the PDP, which had earned praise from a section of the people after being criticised for aligning with the BJP. '...What was that about standing up to the BJP-RSS-Centre Mufti Sahib???,' National Conference leader Omar Abdullah asked in a tweet.