GoI ministers, BJP reviews coalition functioning
Also takes stock of KPs return, LoC situation
New Delhi, May 18: Top Union ministers and BJP leaders, including party chief Amit Shah, today reviewed the political and security situation in Jammu and Kashmir besides discussing rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits.
The meeting was chaired by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and attended by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Defence Minister Manohar Parikar, BJP President Amit Shah, Minister of State in Prime Minister’s Office Jitendra Singh, among others.
Senior government officials and BJP leaders looking after Kashmir affairs also attended the meeting held at the Home Minister’s residence here and reviewed the political and security situation in J-K and took feedbacks on ground realities.
“There was a general discussion on Jammu and Kashmir to understand what is happening. Different issues like security situation, deployment of forces were discussed. We have also discussed about general political scenario of the state,” Parrikar told reporters after an hour-long meeting which was attended by NSA Ajit Doval and BJP general secretaries Ram Madhav and Ram Lal.
Asked whether there was any discussion on rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits in the Kashmir Valley, Jitendra Singh said, “There was discussion on everything but no decision on anything. It was a stock-taking meeting.”
Parikar said issues related to border with Pakistan, situation along the border, deployment of paramilitary forces and flood relief related matters were discussed.
The Defence and Home Ministry officials had last week held a meeting with J-K Chief Secretary B R Sharma and Home Secretary R K Goyal during which issues pertaining to return of civil land from army and rehabilitation of over 62,000 families of Kashmiri Pandits, who had to leave the Valley following the onset of militancy, were discussed.
Asked whether any strategic decision has been taken, Parrikar said such issues cannot be discussed in public.
On the issue of infiltration from across the border, the Defence Minister said security forces were neutralising militants who try to sneak into India.
MoS, PMO Jitendra Singh, who hails from J-K, said the high-level meeting discussed political and ground realities of the state.
He said the PDP-BJP coalition government, headed by Mehbooba Mufti, was running smoothly in the state but it was necessary to take stock of the situation from time to time.
“We have a coalition government. It is our responsibility to review from time to time,” Singh said.
Asked about the reasons for BJP chief’s presence at the meeting, Singh said, “Ye accha hain ki wo maarg darshan karte hain (it is good that he (Shah) guides us).”
Asked whether the issue of rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits was discussed, Singh evaded a direct reply, saying there were “comprehensive” discussions on all issues concerning the state.
Mehbooba rendered ‘figurehead’: Omar
Opposition National Conference leader Omar Abdullah today took a dig at Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, saying she had been rendered a “figurehead” as she had not been included in a high-level meeting held in Delhi to discuss “all aspects” of Jammu and Kashmir.
“High level meeting in Delhi reviews ‘all aspects of J&K situation’ and CM is not included. @mehbooba_mufti reduced to a figurehead. Pity!!” Omar tweeted.
He was referring to a meeting of top Union ministers and BJP leaders, including party chief Amit Shah, in Delhi in which the political and security situation in Jammu and Kashmir besides rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits was discussed.
The meeting was chaired by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and attended by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Defence Minister Manohar Parikar, Minister of State in Prime Minister’s Office Jitendra Singh, among others.
While being sarcastic, Omar added, “It seems the only thing expected of CM @mehbooba_mufti is to visit Delhi to hand over bouquets of flowers to high dignitaries for photo opps.”
The former Chief Minister said while Governor N N Vohra represented the state during a similar meeting held in Delhi earlier this month, even he was not present at today’s meeting.
“There are 20+ flights from Srinagar to Delhi everyday and the state has its own plane so don’t tell me logistics came in the way,” he added.