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Beef ban row: CM says such issues won’t shake coalition govt


Srinagar : Amid a divide between ruling coalition partners PDP and BJP over beef ban issue, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Sayeed has asserted that such issues would “not shake us” and that his government will complete its full term despite “certain complications” which he expected from the beginning.

He told his party colleagues, including ministers and legislators, at a meeting that “some issues” would be there between PDP and BJP as it is an alliance between “north pole and south pole” but the government will not be affected as it is focussed on governance, according to some party leaders.

Sayeed was speaking at the meeting where the situation prevailing in the state was discussed.

“It was a routine meeting called before the start of the Assembly session (on October 3). I would call it a pre-session get-together,” PDP chief spokesman Mehboob Beg told PTI.

Beg said the overall situation in the state was discussed in the meeting, where the party patron said the coalition government would last its full term of six years.

Asked if the controversy over beef ban was discussed, he said though there was no specific discussion on the issue, Sayeed said “such issues would not shake us”.

A recent High Court directive for implementation of a 150-year-old law has created a divide between the alliance partners with PDP saying the prohibition cannot be accepted while the BJP is pressing for its strict enforcement.

PDP leaders have said consumption of beef will continue to be allowed in the state notwithstanding the HC directive even as BJP said the sentiments of Hindus should be respected in the larger national interest without any provocation.

Beg said the Chief Minister maintained that “some issues would be there” but “PDP will not compromise on its basic principles”.

According to the PDP chief spokesman, Sayeed said “it was expected and we knew at the time of forming the alliance that there will be certain complications as it was an alliance between north pole and south pole. But our focus should be on the governance.”

The Chief Minister said “the coalition is a necessity and the alliance with the BJP was to respect the mandate that the elections threw up.”

He said Sayeed looked quite confident to carry on and asserted that “there will be no problems”.

He said PDP president Mehbooba Mufti, who is currently in Saudi Arabia as part of Haj delegation, will preside over a separate meeting of party legislators to chalk out a strategy for the Assembly session scheduled to begin on October 3.

The chief minister also hosted a dinner for all those who attended the meeting.

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