The release of Muslim League chairman Masrat Alam has triggered a major row between the PDP and BJP with the latter asserting that the Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed should discuss each and every case of anybody's release with his coalition partner in future.
The BJP also claimed that according to the Common Minimum Program (CMP) of the two parties, the cases of prisoners who have "no serious charges" are supposed to be reviewed for release.
"We can't release anybody at will. Where was the name of Masrat Alam in the CMP?," senior BJP leader and the party's JK affair's incharge, Avinash Rai Khanna told Greater Kashmir over phone from New Delhi.
He said that the BJP has taken a strong note of the Chief Minister's unilateral decision of ordering Alam's release.
He said BJP is not against involving all the stakeholders to ensure everlasting peace in JK.
"But the question is that we can't release those who are a threat to peace and against whom there are serious charges," said Khanna, who is also BJP's Rajya Sabha MP.
He said they have taken a serious note of the issue which has already stirred a controversy across India. "We are concerned about Alam's release," he said.
"There is a proper procedure to release prisoners. Our CMP is clear that all the people of the State should be made stakeholders of peace. But Alam's release has soured our relations with PDP."
The BJP leader advocated that the Chief Minister must consult deputy chief minister Dr Nirmal Singh and all the legislators of BJP before taking any such decision.
"To avoid further confusion and controversies in future, no decision should be taken without proper consultation," Khanna said.
Pertinently, PDP on Sunday had maintained that Alam's release was part of CMP.
"The party had stated that engaging all stakeholders for establishing peace in JK was part of the CMP."
A senior BJP leader, wishing not to be named, said that they are aware that many prisoners who are languishing in various prisons across the State and even outside J&K, against whom there are no serious charges, can be considered for release.
"Why release a person who would suddenly trigger a controversy," he said.
"We respect Chief Minister and want him to take steps that would not hurt the sentiments of the coalition partner. Going by the coalition dharma, a consultation over such issues is a must."
Pertinently, the 42-year-old Alam was released on March 7, on the directions of Home Ministry, headed by Chief Minister himself. He was arrested for spearheading agitations in 2008 and 2010.