On the first day as Chief Minister of Indian-administered Kashmir, Mufti Muhammad Sayeed praised Pakistan, Hurriyat leaders, and others for the conduct of peaceful assembly elections, Indian media sources stated.
“I want to say this on record and I have told this to the Prime Minister (also) that we must credit Hurriyat, Pakistan, militant outfits for the conduct of assembly elections,” Sayeed said.
“People from across the border made the atmosphere conducive,” he said. “They also allowed the democratic process to continue in the state. This gives us hope.”
Sayeed said any subversive activity could have affected electoral participation, especially in Srinagar.
Meanwhile, the Indian government dissociated itself with Sayeed’s statement, NDTV reported.
Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh said his government and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) distances itself from the Sayeed’s remarks in Lok Sabha, where opposition parties shouted demands for an explanation from the government.
“The credit for conducive environment for polls in Jammu and Kashmir goes to the Election Commission, our armed forces and people of Jammu and Kashmir,” Singh said.
The home minister said he was making the statement after discussing it with the Prime Minister.
The Congress questioned why Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not raise objections to Mufti’s comment and walk out of Lok Sabha.