'Battle of Ideology' A Challenge For The Government: Mufti
Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed copy
SRINAGAR : Facing criticism for the police crackdown on Hurriyat leaders, Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed said that the 'battle of ideologies' will be a challenge for his government.
"It ('Battle of Ideologies') is a challenge that has to be won politically, but here the question is to take the entire country along with us," Sayeed said in an informal interaction with journalists at Nehru Guest House in Srinagar.
Ahead of the State Assembly election results last year, Sayeed had promised to give Hurriyat leaders a 'political space' in what he calls as a "Battle of Ideologies" so that they can propagate their politics to people. He had also promised to release all political prisoners incarcerated in various jails across the country.
But the government was forced to make amends to its policies after the first prisoner and Chairman of the Muslim League, Masarat Alam, was released. During a rally in Srinagar, Alam shouted pro-Pakistan slogans and hoisted a Pakistani flag which sparked outrage across the country.
Alam was arrested soon after the incident which also brought down curtains on the process of releasing political prisoners.
The government is also facing criticism for treading the path adopted by the previous Omar Abdullah-led government to deal with Hurriyat leaders who have often been put behind bars or house-arrested.
Defending his government, Sayeed said he wants to give space to Hurriyat leaders to put across their viewpoint but the government can't compromise on "some issues."
Reacting to the reports of friction with the coalition partner BJP, he said the "Agenda of the Alliance' between the two parties is an 'evolutionary' process.
"It will take time. Good governance is also a challenge for the government and it can prove fruitful if it is taken along in a stable manner," he said.
On the delay in assistance to flood-hit people, Sayeed stated that the government is not concerned about the delay.
"We are not concerned (about rehabilitation) but the first priority for the government is tourism. Once the rehabilitation starts, everybody will see it," he said.