SRINAGAR: As union defence and finance minister Arun Jaitley Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Thursday to discuss the prevailing situation in the State, opposition National Conference president Farooq Abdullah demanded imposition of Governor’s rule and placing Legislative Assembly under suspended animation in the State for restoring peace in strife-hit Kashmir.
Jaitley, who arrived here yesterday to chair two-day GST council meeting, called on Mehbooba today.
Sources said Jaitley, who had reviewed security situation in the State during meeting with Army chief and other top army commanders in Srinagar yesterday, was briefed about the prevailing situation in the State, especially in the Valley, by the CM.
She apprised her of measures being taken to restore peace and normalcy in the Valley, they said.
An official spokesman said Mehbooba discussed with FM the process of fund flow to the State, particularly under the Prime Minister’s Developmental Plan (PMDP) and sought timely and periodic release of funds under the plan.
She apprised Jaitley of the losses suffered by local business units, particularly the ones started by young entrepreneurs, during the unrest of last year and sought restructuring of credit facility to them, he said.
During his meeting with army commanders yesterday, Jaitley had urged the security men and officials ensure safety of the innocent people while dealing firmly with the inimical elements.
He had also impressed upon the commanders to maintain strict vigil along the Line of Control (LoC) and remain prepared to give a befitting reply to any misadventure from across.
Meanwhile, opposition NC president and recently elected Srinagar MP, Farooq Abdullah demanded imposition of Governor’s rule and placing the State Legislative Assembly under suspended animation saying these were unavoidable and imperative for restoring normalcy and peace in Kashmir.
He said imposition of Governor’s rule is not an ideal solution but in the present circumstances where the State is being pushed back to the uncertainty and turmoil of the early 1990s, it is the only plausible option.
“It is for the first time in almost three decades that an election had to be cancelled and we are down from a 26% turnout to a 7% turnout – thanks to PDP-BJP coalition government’s policies and failure. The imposition of Governor’s rule would calm tempers and also make the administration to be perceived as politically neutral – allowing basic governance to be restored,” he told reporters.
He was referring to cancellation of bypolls to Anantnag parliamentary seat and poll violence during bypolls to Srinagar parliamentary seat on April 9 when eight civilians were killed in security forces firing and only 7 per cent polling recorded.
Kashmir has been tense after the killing of eight civilians and tension further escalated after student protests.
Taking a dig at PDP-BJP alliance, Farooq, who won bypolls to Srinagar parliamentary seat by defeating PDP’s candidate, said the alliance was bereft of a political agenda and had been forged with the singular purpose of attaining power.
“The ‘Agenda of the Alliance’ has been torn to shreds and debunked by the BJP. The PDP gave discreet burial to AoA when PDP patron and former CM Mufti Mohammad passed away last year”, he said.
The NC president said an open-ended, unconditional and uninterruptable dialogue with Pakistan and with stakeholders in Kashmir was the only way forward to deal with the Kashmir issue.
“Delhi has to talk to Pakistan and also initiate talks with various stakeholders in Kashmir without any restrictions and conditions. There is no other option. The sooner Delhi does this the better it is for the State and entire region. My apprehension is that the damage done would be far too much to handle and reverse by the time such a political initiative is taken. There should be no further delay”, he added.