No “gap” in PDP-BJP coalition, Mufti to last full term: Madhav

NEW DELHI, Dec 1: There is “no distance or gap” between ruling coalition partners PDP and BJP in Jammu and Kashmir where Mufti Mohammed Sayeed will last his full term as Chief Minister, senior BJP leader Ram Madhav said today.

Madhav, a BJP general secretary, who played a major role in forging his party’s alliance with PDP, also sought to scotch speculation about Mehbooba Mufti replacing her father at the helm.

“There is no distance and gap between PDP and BJP. The alliance, the coalition is working perfectly well. There are issues which the two parties together are handling together very well.

“One may have any opinion about the state sitting from here, but in Jammu and Kashmir the government is trying to function, deliver on its promises to people as per Common Minimum Programme. There is no gap between BJP and PDP,” Madhav, a former RSS spokesperson, told in an interview.

Mufti has often dropped hints that his daughter may replace him by hailing her role in building PDP and that such a succession is “part of democracy”. However, Madhav said he was unaware about any such exercise.

Asked if Mufti will head the government for its full term of six years, Madhav shot back, “It’s like asking whether Modi will remain the Prime Minister for five years. Do you ask this question? He is elected Prime Minister, he will be there. He is elected Chief Minister, he will be there.”

To a question if the alliance government in the state was working according to the expectations, he said, “Expectations can be very high. But it is working smoothly in the last six to eight months, the understanding between the two sides has improved and there is better cohesion now.”

As far as running of the state is concerned, “both parties are on the same page”, he emphasised.

On the security situation in the state which is allegedly witnessing increased radicalisation, Madhav admitted concerns have been expressed in official quarters, including by a top Army commander, but claimed such concerns were not limited to Jammu and Kashmir alone.

“There is this concern that probably some amount of radicalisation is happening. There is a concern. That will be addressed together by central and state governments. That will be taken care of.

“I must tell you that this issue, this concern, is not limited to Jammu and Kashmir. In several others parts of our country, there is this recruitment, radicalisation is happening,” said Madhav.

Insisting that the PDP-BJP government was not to blame for the reported increase in militancy, he said the state had a long history of insurgency, terrorism and anti-India activities.

Recalling the large-scale violence in 2010, in which 120 people had been killed when the National Conference-Congress alliance was in power, Madhav said such ups and downs keep happening in the state.

“Are you trying to tell me that radicalisation is happening only in 2015?… The only thing we want to see is whether this government is committed to tackling this menace or not. I am saying yes, this government is committed. Government of the day is seized of the issue and together with the central government (will deal with that),” he said.

There is a unique situation in the state and the neighbour is bent on creating distubances there, he said, apparently referring to Pakistan. (PTI)

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