First govt that represented all regions, earlier ones used to be Kashmir-centric: Nirmal Singh

Nirmal Singh, who was deputy CM in Mufti Sayeed’s government, spoke

First govt that represented all regions, earlier ones used to be Kashmir-centric - Nirmal SinghOn the alliance

“Our alliance partner was one with which we had lot of ideological differences on various issues… However, we prepared an agenda of alliance addressing every issue during the next two months. As a result there was no major trouble between the alliance partners during the 10 months.”

Once in government…

“We learnt a lot during those 10 months and got many things streamlined. Led by Mufti Mohammad Sayeed who was a visionary leader and supported by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, we were able to deliver many things that otherwise were not expected of us during a short span…

“We had reports that there was pressure also from Pakistan (to destabilise the government). The BJP’s being part of the government in Jammu and Kashmir had an international impact.”

On beef ban controversy

“These controversies were created by others. A litigation seeking implementation of an existing law against cow slaughter was filed in the high court by a lawyer during Omar Abdullah’s regime. Incidentally, the court ordered implementation when we had formed the coalition and the petitioner had become deputy advocate general. Things flared up because of Hurriyat and independent MLA Engineer Abdul Rashid… It was such a sensitive issue that the entire government went on the defensive.”

On flag controversy

“BJP ministers were already hoisting the state flag along with the national tricolour on vehicles and bungalows, when the general administration department issued a circular… a political message went out it was meant only for the BJP as it had opposed the state’s having a separate constitution and flag. The circular was later withdrawn following the CM’s intervention.”

On the gains

“A confidence was created among people of all three regions… It was the first government that represented people of all regions in the true sense, as against previous dispensations that used to be Kashmir-centric…

“An impression went to the people about the way efforts were made to develop Jammu as a separate tourist destination (cites examples of projects)… The leadership of Jammu was asserting itself and the CM was accommodating them. We took a stand at cabinet meetings reversing decisions that would have had an adverse impact on Jammu.”

On the next government

“The PM announced a Rs 80,000 crore package… To fulfil the vision of the late Mufti Sayeed and for proper utilisation of this money, it is necessary to form a government. We hope the PDP will soon agree on government formation… No one wants snap polls.”

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