Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on Monday said he stands by his statement on violence-free polls in the state.
Reacting to the controversy about his comment, he said, "I've said what I've said and I stand by that. The media is making a mountain out of a molehill."
Mr Sayeed, on Sunday, had said in his first media conference after being sworn in as Jammu and Kashmir chief minister that had Pakistan, Hurriyat and the militants tried to disrupt elections in the state last year, there would not have been good participation. "I want to say on record and I have told this to the Prime Minister, that we must credit the Hurriyat, Pakistan and militant outfits for the conduct of assembly elections in the state," he had said.
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president and Mr Sayeed's daughter, Mehbooba Mufti today said she stood by her father's remarks. Defending the remarks, she told NDTV in an exclusive interview, "We need to build stakes for Pakistan and Hurriyat in our peace process. If separatists and militants are stepping back from violence we should encourage them."
The government today dissociated itself from the controversial remarks of its newest ally. "Our government and the BJP fully dissociate with the statement. he credit for conducive environment for polls in Jammu and Kashmir goes to the Election Commission, our armed forces and the people," Home Minister Rajnath Singh said in the Lok Sabha as opposition parties shouted demands for an explanation from the government.
The home minister said he was making the statement after discussing it with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.