Mufti stands by controversial remark

Mufti stands by controversial remark

Despite the furore and criticism over his statement on violence-free Assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir, Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on Monday stood firmly by his remarks.

“Media is making a mountain out of a mole. What I said yesterday (Sunday) that Pakistan and Hurriyat have recognised and understood that the voter slip is the destiny of the people, not bullets or grenades,” the newly sworn-in chief minister told reporters outside the Civil Secretariat in Jammu.

“And this voter slip has been given to us by the Constitution of India. The people of J&K have more faith in this (right). People from across the border and Hurriyat did not interfere, as was happening in past elections,” he added.

Soon after taking oath on Sunday, Mufti had credited separatists, militants and Pakistan for providing a conducive atmosphere for the recently concluded Assembly polls, drawing sharp reaction from his predecessor Omar Abdullah and leader of the Congress party in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, who demanded an explanation from the Centre.

Under attack, Mufti tried to put up a brave face on Monday saying that only a part of what he had said on Sunday was highlighted while the “positive things” were ignored. “What positive things I spoke about yesterday (Sunday) was not highlighted. But what I said, I stand by it,” he asserted.

Mufti’s daughter and PDP president Mehbooba also stood by the statement: “I stand by the remarks made by Mufti Sahib. He is not a person who makes a remark and later denies having made it.”

However, Deputy Chief Minister and BJP leader Nirmal Singh distanced himself from Mufti’s statement saying credit must go to the people of Jammu and Kashmir who despite the threats casted their vote in large numbers.

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