No “impact” on PDP-BJP coalition: Ram Madhav

Special Correspondent
Jammu, Apr 14: Asserting that both coalition partners have worked for the welfare and development of all the three regions of the state, BJP National General Secretary Ram Madhav on Saturday said that Kathua rape and murder case will not have “impact” on PDP-BJP coalition government.
“This incident (Kathua rape and murder case) has nothing to do with the alliance,” Madhav told reporters here on Saturday afternoon.
Madhav was here in the town to review party meeting in the backdrop of resignations tendered by two BJP Ministers Choudhary Lal Singh and Chander Prakash Ganga after Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti sought their sacking for allegedly taking part in a rally organised by the ‘Bharat Ekta Manch’ demanding transfer of case to the CBI.
“We (PDP-BJP) have a common agenda and we both work for fulfilling the commitments made to the people of all the three regions of Jammu and Kashmir,” he added and said that BJP is equal and responsible partners in the government.
“We are neither dictated by anybody nor can anyone dictate us. We work together for the development of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh,” said Madhav.
“There were speculations that PDP-BJP coalition will fall but I tell you, this incident (Kathua Case) will have no impact on alliance,” he added and said that will wait for PDP’s stance for further action.
On resignation of two BJP ministers, the national leader said, “the resignations of two party ministers has been accepted and sent to the chief minister Mehbooba Mufti”.
“Resignations of both the ministers have been accepted and sent to Mufti,” Madhav told reporters.
He further said that perception has also been created that both the Ministers were “pro rapists”, which is wrong.
“They both had gone there (Rassana village) to listen to the people and not hampered the investigation,” said the BJP leader.
The BJP leader said that it is true that two BJP ministers on March 1, visited to village Rassana but the intent was not wrong.
“Their visit was only to pacify the protesting villagers demanding CBI probe in Kathua rape and murder case and had no role in hampering the investigations,” he added.
He said that they were asked by the party high command to submit the resignation, adding, “there was some callous approach on their part but intent was not wrong.”
“Only after consultations with the Prime Minister and the top brass, the ministers were asked to resign,” he claimed and added that the ministers have also been asking for strict punishment to the culprits.
Kathua case has shocked the nation and when the matter was reported in January, state police acted swiftly and 90 days after of investigation, charge-sheet is being filed, he asserted.
“On March 1, people assembled in the village and took out a rally following which two of the ministers were ‘asked’ to visit to the spot only to pacify them and assure fair probe besides strict punishment to the culprits,” he added and said, “but lack of caution led to confusion.”
“Lack of indiscretion led to misconception,” he added and said that now transferring case or not to the CBI, lies within the ambit of the Court.
Asked whether a dent has been created in the alliance after the Kathua rape-and-murder issue, Madhav said, “As far as this case is concerned, we have done our bit by allaying the fears and misconception created in the minds of people of Jammu and Kashmir but also in the entire country by asking our two ministers to resign. Beyond that I don’t think there will be any impact of this incident or these developments on the coalition.”
“Rest for the ‘baayan bazi’ (making statements) we have been receiving in last couple of days, we will wait for the PDP to take a view on that and convey what is the view of the leadership. Right now I am talking about Kathua rape incident,” he said.
He cautioned that there should be no communal politics played over the ghastly crime and everyone should ensure speedy justice and exemplary punishment to the culprits.
He accused the Congress party of playing double standards. “In Jammu, the Congress leaders are casting aspersion over the probe and their senior leaders were creating law and order situation through Bar Council,” he alleged.
“Certain amount of discretion should have been maintained. Certainly, there was a lack of discretion. Sometimes lack of discretion does not tantamount of any guilt…that has led to certain misconceptions about them (two ministers) also, so they decided they will quit as ministers,” Madhav responded when he was asked about a pointed question that the two ministers had termed the action of the crime branch as “jungle raj” and warned police from arresting anyone.
On the plea for a CBI probe saying the investigations have been completed in three months and a charge sheet has been submitted in the court. “It is up to the court now to decide.”
Meanwhile on illegal settlement of Rohingyas to change the demography of Jammu region and government’s minutes of meeting on Tribal Affairs, Madhav said, “the Jammu and Kashmir Government has been told to withdraw its directive on encroachments by nomads in forest land.”
“The directive (of Tribal Affairs department) issued and circulated to different districts must be withdrawn. This we have told the Government already,” he added.
“There has been very clear and consistent stand of the BJP on these two issues (deportation of Rohingyas and massive encroachments and settlement on state lands by tribal people),” Madhav said and added that the Union Home Ministry has to take a call on Rohnigyas.
Madhav however, also lashed out at the Congress for allegedly politicising the case and giving it a communal colour.
“Congress playing dual double standard and spoiling the investigations besides communalising it,” said Madhav.
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Friday demanded sacking of two BJP ministers Choudhary Lal Singh and Chander Prakash Ganga for their alleged support to Bharat Ekta Mancha demanding transfering of Kathua rape and murder case to the Central Bureau of investigation.
Mufti has also written to the Chief Justice of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court, requesting setting up of a special fast track court to try the brutal rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua.