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Rajnath dissociates govt, BJP from Mufti’s remark

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By EMN Updated: Mar 02, 2015 9:34 pm
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IANS
NEW DELHI, MARCH 2

Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday dissociated the government and the BJP from the remarks of Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed who gave credit to militants and Pakistan for the smooth conduct of assembly elections in the state. The Congress and some other opposition parties staged a walkout from the Lok Sabha demanding a resolution on the issue.
Raising the matter in the Lok Sabha after the question hour, Congress member K.C. Venugopal condemned Sayeed’s remarks. The opposition members also demanded a statement from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Venugopal said Sayeed had remarked that he had apprised Modi of his views. Modi Sunday attended the oath-taking of People’s Democratic Party-Bharatiya Janata Party government in Jammu.
The Congresss member said that credit for smooth conduct of assembly elections should go to the people of state, security forces and the people of the state.
“We expect a clarification from prime minister,” he said.
Rajnath Singh said: “The government and the party fully dissociates themselves from the remarks.”
The minister, who was repeatedly interrupted by opposition members, said that he had come to the house after talking to prime minister.
“What I am saying, I am saying with deliberation and with consent of prime minister,” Rajnath Singh said.
He said the assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir had been held in a conducive atmosphere. “I want to give credit for this to the election commission, armed forces and paramilitary forces,” he said.
The minister said there had been no secret talk between the prime minister and chief minister and no contentious issue was discussed.
Sayeed had stoked a controversy on Sunday, saying that people from across the border had contributed to making the atmosphere conducive for elections. He also gave credit to the Hurriyat and militants, saying that if they had done something, it would not have been a smooth election with large participation of people.
Sayeed also pitched for taking Hurriyat Conference and separatists on board in talks on the Kashmir problem.
Congress leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge said that the government should bring a resolution to send a message to the new chief minister over his remarks.
“He (Sayeed) will know that the entire house is against his remarks. It (smooth elections) happened because of people of the state, the government servants, but they are saying it happened due to Pakistan. The prime minister should come and condemn the remarks. What has the chief minister told the prime minister,” Kharge said.
Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav also sought a statement from prime minister but Rajnath Singh said there was no question of such a statement.
Opposition members including those belonging to the Congress, Left parties and Trinamool Congress then staged a walk out.

I stand by statement on violence-free J-K polls: Mufti

PTI
JAMMU, MARCH 2

A day after his remarks on peaceful polls in Jammu and Kashmir triggered a row, Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed today said that he stood by his comments and accused those raising a hue and cry over it of trying to “make mountain of a mole hill”.
“What I said, I stand by it,” he told reporters after casting his vote for the Council election at the Legislature Complex here.
“What I said yesterday about Pakistan and Hurriyat… the recovery and working of democracy in Kashmir and faith in it (was that) they (Pakistan and Hurriyat) have recognised and understood that the voter slip is the destiny of the people, not bullets or grenades,” he said.
“And this voter slip has been given to us by the Constitution of India… The people of J-K have more faith in this (right). They (people from across the border and Hurriyat) did not interfere, as was happening in past (elections),” he said.
Soon after taking oath yesterday, Sayeed had said that credit must be given to people from across the border – an oblique reference to Pakistan — Hurriyat and militant outfits for “allowing a conducive atmosphere” for the Assembly polls in December last year in J-K.
Under attack for the remarks, Mufti today said that only a part of what he had said yesterday was highlighted while the “positive things” were ignored.
“They want to make mountain out of a mole hill. The positive things that I spoke about yesterday were not highlighted, but more focus was on what Mufti said.
“Mufti said that the democratic right that Kashmir has got in the Constitution of India and the strength that democratic institutions have got, it is because of the voter slip, that they have recognised,” he explained.
“Everything they have tried. They (forces across the border) recognised the institution of democracy. What I said, I stand by it,” he said.

PDP now calls hanging of Afzal Guru ‘travesty of justice’

A day after Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed credited Pakistan and Hurriyat for peaceful polls in J&K, the ruling PDP on Monday raked up another controversy by stating that justice was not followed in hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, promising to vigorously follow for the return of his mortal remains to his family.
Read Also: I stand by my statement on Pakistan and Hurriyat: J&K CM
“PDP has always maintained that late Afzal Guru’s hanging was travesty of justice and constitutional requirements and process was not followed in hanging him out of turn,” said a group of PDP legislators in a written statement circulated to media.
“PDP stands by the demand for return of his (Guru’s) mortal remains, and the party promises to follow vigorously for the return of the mortal remains,” the PDP statement said.
“We believe that the resolution brought by Er. Rashid to seek clemency for late Afzal Guru was justified and should have been adopted by the House at that time,” the legislators added.
In 2011, the resolution seeking clemency for Guru could not be taken up in the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly due to pandemonium in the House.
The resolution became void as according to rules, any listed business that does not come up for discussion would lapse.
The legislators who signed the statement are Mohammad Khalil Bandh, Zahoor Ahmed Mir, Raja Manzoor Ahmad, Mohd Abas Wani, Yawar Dilawar Mir, Advocate Mohd Yosuf, Aijaz Ahmad Mir and Noor Mohd Sheikh. The written statement appears to have been issued to seek the crucial one vote of independent Engineer Rashid to win both the seats in Legislative Council from Kashmir. However, PDP could win only one seat losing the other to its arch political rival NC.

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By EMN Updated: Mar 02, 2015 9:34:19 pm