Tariq Karra, one of the founders of the PDP, quit the party and his Lok Sabha membership on Thursday with a strong attack on his colleague Mehbooba Mufti’s government for the unrest in the state.
Karra, hailed as a giant-killer for defeating National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah on his turf Srinagar in the last assembly elections, accused the Peoples Democratic Party government of being a sell-out to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.
“This (unrest) has exposed the tall claims of the government of India and state government regarding the democratic character”, he said.
More than 80 people have been killed since the second week of June when militant commander Burhan Wani was shot dead by security forces during a raid. The July 8 incident sparked waves of anti-India protests and retaliatory crackdown that resulted in scores of fatalities and injuries to hundreds of protesters.
“The PDP has become a collaborator for fascist RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh)-governed BJP,” Karra said.
“The defining moment for me came on the occasion of Eid (September 13) when people of Kashmir were not allowed to offer prayers”.
Karra, who founded the party with three others in 1999, has been a staunch opponent of the PDP-BJP alliance that was formed after no clear winner emerged in the last state elections.
“Certain shrines and grand mosques were even locked. My apprehension that by PDP’s facilitation RSS-backed BJP would even impose religious ingression stands unfortunately vindicated today,” he said.
“Every single day Kashmiris are being butchered, fathers carrying coffins of their young loved ones, hundreds lying dead, thousands being injured. The number of injured is
outnumbering the hospital capacity and the number of arrested is outnumbering lockup,” he said.
Immediately after PDP aligned with the BJP after the fractured mandate in December 2014, Karra had warned the PDP that the alliance meant doom for the party.
But he did a U-turn and backed Mehbooba when she chose to go with the BJP after weeks of indecision following her father’s death in January.
“At that time I had to choose between evil and lesser evil as a certain section of the party was ready to form the government with the BJP without even Mehbooba Mufti,” he said on Thursday.