New Delhi: As newly sworn-in Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed's statement crediting "people from across the border" for conduct of Assembly polls triggered a controversy, the Centre today maintained that it is people of the state, security forces and Election Commission, whose efforts should be given the credit.
As questions were raised over Mufti's remarks, Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the people of the state, security forces and Election Commission should be the ones who should get the credit for the polls.
"If someone asks us, we only have to say that it is the people of J&K, the Election Commission (EC) and the security forces, whether central or state, who have with full zeal and enthusiasm, ensured the fulfillment of this vital democratic exercise," Naqvi told reporters.
His words found an echo in BJP leader GVL Narasimha Rao, who said that the people of Jammu and Kashmir, the security forces and the Election Commission are the ones who deserve credit for the smooth conduct of polls.
Soon after taking oath yesterday, Sayeed had said credit must be given to people from across the border, an oblique reference to Pakistan, Hurriyat and militant outfits, for "allowing conducive atmosphere" for Assembly polls.
"I want to say this on record and I have told this to the Prime Minister that the we must credit the Hurriyat, militant outfits for the conduct of assembly elections in the state," Sayeed had said.
"People from across the border allowed conducive atmosphere during elections. My humble submission is peaceful elections were not possible, if they had done something. You know how small action was needed to disturb the elections. They allowed this democratic process to go ahead. This gives us a hope," he had added.
BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, however made is annoyance over Sayeed's remarks clear.
"I am sorry that Mufti has on the very first day chosen to speak like this. He should learn 'coalition dharma' as it is called and if he doesn't abide by it, we will not hesitate to secure Kashmir, once again, without his help," Swamy said.