Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti raised the deteriorating law and order situation in the state when she met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Monday. She told reporters that the two had decided that peace talks could only be held in a conducive atmosphere. “We need to create an atmosphere after which we can talk about governance, development and hold dialogue,” she said.

Modi and Mufti also spoke at length on how the recent bye-elections had impacted the situation and the alarmingly low voting percentage at the bye-polls. “I also raised the issue of the Indus Water Treaty and how it badly affects the people of the state. I have urged the prime minister to come up with a solution to compensate for the losses,” Mufti told reporters. She alleged the state incurs a loss of Rs 20,000 crore every year because of the treaty. Modi assured Mufti he would initiate steps to curb this loss, said the chief minister.

Mufti said Modi has also assured that better times lie ahead for the state. “Modiji repeatedly said that he would follow [Atal Bihari] Vajpayeeji’s footsteps, whose policy is of reconciliation not confrontation,” she told ANI. Mufti is also scheduled to meet Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday. Singh, too, had expressed concern over reports of security threats being faced by Kashmiri students in other parts of the country.

The Bharatiya Janata Party had said its alliance with the Peoples Democratic Party was running well, a day before Mufti met Modi. “As far as the coalition is concerned, there are no differences among partners. The PDP-BJP government is working well. Everyone is performing his or her task,” Jammu and Kashmir BJP unit chief Sat Sharma said, reported the news agency. “The chief minister is engaged in daily work... so are ministers and the deputy chief minister. There is no tension,” he added.

There have been reports of strained ties between the two alliance partners, especially in the wake of violence after the Srinagar bye-election. Eight people had been killed in clashes with security personnel, amid very low voter turnout, allegations of the Army using a man as a human shield and reports of attacks on Kashmiri students in other parts of the country.

The rise in tensions was acknowledged by the prime minister at a meeting of the Governing Council of Niti Aayog on Sunday. Modi said chief ministers should keep an eye on Kashmiri students studying in their respective states and also responded to Mufti’s request to organise important government meetings in her state.

According to a statement issued by Niti Aayog, Modi had “seconded the Jammu and Kashmir chief minister’s suggestion that states should take interest in the students from her state who are studying in other states”. “He urged states to reach out to these students from time to time,” the statement added, reported ANI.