National Conference leader Mustafa Kamal landed in the middle of a controversy on Monday after he claimed that the Indian government was dragging its feet on talks with Pakistan, drawing criticism from his nephew and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, who distanced himself from the remarks.
Kamal, who returned after performing Hajj last week, while addressing National Conference workers at Kishtawar on Sunday, claimed that the government was reluctant to sign a 'no-war treaty' with Pakistan.
Brother of Union Minister Farooq Abdullah and uncle of Omar Abdullah, Kamal also hit out at his coalition partner Congress and main opposition People's Democratic Party, saying "coalition is a compulsion for us".
"We have plunged into power to keep away both of our enemies from each other, otherwise both had numbers to finish us," he said.
Distancing himself from Kamal's statement, Omar said on micro-blogging site Twitter: "Funny thing is I don't need anyone to make things difficult for me when I have relatives to do it for me."
In another tweet, he said, "They say never work with animals and children. I think it's safe to add relatives to that list as well."
Alliance partner Congress reacted sharply to the remarks of Kamal, saying the party condemns such statements.
"Such a remark by any Indian is extremely unfortunate. We condemn this. Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India. We disassociate ourselves from it," party spokesman Sandeep Dikshit said.
Kamal had also alleged that the "black laws" imposed by the Centre are targeting civilians rather than militants and the biggest hurdle for return of peace in Jammu and Kashmir was the presence of security forces.