PDP-BJP Meet with Ram Madhav on Kashmir Situation Before Amit Shah’s Jammu Visit

JAMMU, April 21: The leaders of Jammu and Kashmir’s ruling PDP-BJP coalition on Friday discussed the prevailing situation in the valley which has been on the boil since the Srinagar Lok Sabha by-poll earlier this month.

The meeting was held at the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) headquarters in Jammu.

BJP’s National General Secretary Ram Madhav and senior leaders of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), including Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu, attended the meeting.

BJP leader Avinash Rai Khanna and state BJP chief Sat Sharma were also present in the meeting where a discussion was held on the way forward to bring peace to the troubled Valley.

Divergent voices have emerged from the two ruling coalition partners about handling of the situation in Kashmir ever since the April 9 Srinagar by-poll violence and the killing of eight persons in security forces firing. A re-poll on April 13 for 38 seats also saw violence and the killing of another youth in Srinagar. Protests have also rocked colleges in the valley, leading their closure.

The BJP also sought feedback about the law and order situation from top officials and on dealing with the tense situation on the ground, sources said.

Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader and in-charge of J&K Affairs Ram Madhav today held threadbare discussions with state party leadership on prevailing political scenario.

Mr Madhav also called on Governor N N Vohra at the Raj Bhavan here.

“Mr Madhav this morning arrived here and chaired meeting with the state leadership at the party headquarters,” sources said.

The sources said senior People’s Democratic Party leader and state Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu was also present at the consultations.

The BJP stalwart, according to the sources, discussed upcoming re-shuffle of portfolios in the BJP, recently held MLC elections, the May 25 Lok Sabha election for Anantnag Seat, remarks of Industries Minister Chander Prakash Ganga and other political developments.

As per ‘coalition agreement’ BJP-PDP had to share two seats each in MLC polls but PDP rebel Independent candidate Mohammad Bakir Rizvi from Zanskar voted in favour of BJP candidate Vikram Randhawa, which equaled his votes with PDP candidate and later won by draw.

”Although in the seat sharing, BJP did not obey the ‘coalition dharma’ but PDP now want to have Legislative Assembly Speaker from the ruling side in the re-shuffle,” the sources said.

One of the elected PDP MLCs and senior leaders yesterday did not attend the oath taking ceremony of the MLCs at Civil Secretariat.

The sources added that apart from discussion on shifting of portfolios, Mr Madhav was also briefed about Mr Ganga’s statement, which triggered tension in Kashmir Valley.

Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh, state president Sat Sharma, Ashok Koul also attended the meeting.

The sources said Mr Madhav discussed prevailing situation in detail with Dr Haseeb Drabu, adding, ”the PDP has expressed resentment over taking three seats in MLC polls despite commitment of sharing two each.”

The BJP leaders also reviewed the arrangements for national president Amit Shah’s two-day visit to Jammu scheduled for April 29.

Mr Madhav met Mr Vohra and added, “he discussed political development taking place in the state presently besides law and order situation in the Kashmir valley.”

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