BJP national president Amit Shah will be on a two-day visit to the state from 29 April. (Photo: PTI)
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PDP-BJP Meet on Kashmir Situation Before Amit Shah’s Jammu Visit

With tension building up between coalition partners Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Jammu and Kashmir, the two parties on Friday had a closed-door meeting, just days ahead of BJP national President Amit Shah's two-day visit to the state.

BJP's national general secretary Ram Madav, national vice president Avinash Rai Khanna and PDP Minister Haseeb Drabu had a 90-minute long meeting at the BJP headquarters to discuss the deteriorating situation in the state.

"We held a meeting to discuss and review the situation in Jammu and Kashmir," Khanna told reporters later.

The meeting assumes importance in view of the growing tension between the partners over BJP Minister Chander Prakash Ganga's recent statement that "traitors and stone-pelters should be treated with bullets". His remarks drew the ire of the PDP, which said there was a "conspiracy" to keep trouble brewing in the Valley.

Such detestable remarks not only reflect the nauseous mentality of some extremist politicians in the state, but also expose the larger design of certain elements to provoke fresh trouble in Kashmir so that Kashmiris are pushed into perpetual educational and economic dis-empowerment.
Peerzada Mansoor, Senior PDP leader.

Kashmir's students have been clashing with security forces over the last many days. Classes in colleges across Kashmir were suspended for the fourth day today, as student protests continued.

Ganga, who is the Industries Minister in the PDP-BJP government, had reportedly also said, "There is only one remedy for them and that is the bullet. And if not bullets, they should be given punishments like the youths who are beaten with sticks by forces."

The local media quoted him as saying, "Take my word that the next time they (the youth) won't throw stones." Later, DGP SP Vaid also joined the meeting at the BJP headquarters."We are here to discuss arrangements for the forthcoming visit of Amit Shah from 29 April," BJP's Khanna said.

Speaking to reporters, BJP MLA Vibodh Gupta pointed out Shah had chosen to start an all-India tour with Jammu and Kashmir. "It is an honour for us," he said.