NEW DELHI: Accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his top ministerial colleagues of "exacerbating" the crisis in Jammu and Kashmir, Congress leader P Chidambaram today said the state was "sliding into total chaos" and asked the ruling PDP to join hands with the opposition to find a way to end the violence.
"I am concerned that situation in Jammu and Kashmir is sliding into total chaos. The PDP-BJP government is squarely responsible for the sharp deterioration in the last 6 weeks.
"The statements of the Prime Minister, Home Minister and Defence Minister have exacerbated the crisis. Moderation in words and actions alone can retrieve the situation," he said.
Chidambaram, during whose tenure as Home Minister several confidence building measures, including reducing the presence of security forces in the Valley were initiated, surprisingly extended a welcoming hand to BJP's coalition partner in the troubled state PDP to join forces with the opposition to find a solution to the unrest there.
"The Congress, National Conference and, if willing, the PDP must come together to find a solution: firstly, an immediate solution to stop the violence and, then, a path forward that will bring hope, peace and prosperity to the people of Jammu and Kashmir," he said in a statement.
The Congress, however, described Chidambaram's statement as his "personal and individual view".
"A person is free to write and speak, so long as he is expressing a personal opinion - a hope, a wish, a desire and not going against any established party opinion," he said.
"Today, he has expressed his opinion. We have also said that unless we have the mandate, we have not meddled in Kashmir affairs. Tomorrow, we will have the mandate, who knows, we will go and rule Kashmir and we will show a better ruling than you are showing today," party spokesman Abhishek Singhvi told reporters at an AICC briefing.
While talking about the disconnect between the two ruling coalition partners in Jammu and Kashmir, Singhvi said," We can't have a coalition which does not talk to each other. When something happens, the BJP locally attacks it (PDP), the central government attacks it and then they go and sleep together in a coalition government.
"Therefore, that is the real issue today. Tomorrow what happens is not for us to say. There is no such talk, there is no such policy, there is no such election. Somebody has expressed a hope and that is his personal view," he said.