Days after he expressed concern over the Dadri lynching, Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed reminded his BJP ally on Saturday that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had secured votes “in the name of development”, and India “cannot survive if this atmosphere of hatred remains”.
Addressing the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly, Sayeed said: “I have said it earlier as well. The votes obtained by Prime Minister Narendra Modi were in the name of development… This atmosphere of hatred… India cannot survive, if this atmosphere of hatred remains.”
Sayeed’s remarks came on the last day of a stormy Assembly session which saw Independent MLA Engineer Rashid being assaulted by BJP legislators inside the House for hosting a “beef party”.
The Assembly on Friday passed a unanimous resolution, brought by former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, on maintaining communal harmony in the country.
Congratulating the House for sending a “message” of peace and communal harmony, Sayeed said: “I appreciate the people of Kashmir. They didn’t get carried away by sentiments. They showed tolerance… I congratulate you (legislators) for sending the message to the people of India, to the people of the world, that we have to get rid of this atmosphere of hatred.”
He said there is no place for “hatred and extremism” in a civilised story. “The message of inclusiveness preached by great leaders must not get eclipsed by the action of those who create panic, leading to insecurity among the minorities of the country,” said Sayeed. “We are at the crossroads of history and have to again become the torchbearers of secularism, pluralism and tolerance in the country,” he said.
Sayeed said the biggest achievement would be to unite the different regions of the state. “Our endeavour should be to talk about bonding,” he said.
In an interview published in The Indian Express earlier this week, Sayeed, who heads the J&K government with the BJP as partner, had called the Dadri lynching “an attack on India’s diversity”. While he maintained that “there is no alternative” to Modi, he said the Prime Minister “must fight” elements trying to create a “communal” atmosphere in the country by “polarising communities”.