Held up for hours after she failed to produce her bank account details, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti here on Tuesday filed her nomination papers for the Lok Sabha election from Anantang.
Immediately after filing her nomination at the district commissioner's office at south Kashmir's Anantnag parliamentary constituency, 55 km from Srinagar, Mufti said, "If people repose faith in us, we will represent their issues and the Kashmir issue in Parliament. There is a need to make people outside aware of Kashmir's situation."
Claiming to be the only regional party to make public its agenda for the Lok Sabha polls, Mehbooba said, "There are pressing issues like water, revival of state's economy, reopening of old routes that connect Kashmir to the outside world that need to be raised in Parliament."
She also took pot shots at the ruling National Conference (NC) and accused it of trading its MPs for ministerial berths. "There are parties here that traded MPs for ministerial berths. Omar sahib was a minister in the NDA government. He continued with it despite the Gujarat riots. We will not enter the Parliament for any ministerial posts," she said.
Mufti, daughter of former union home minister and former Jamm and Kashmir chief minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed, refused to take any question when asked if the party was striking any formal alliance with the NDA for the upcoming polls.
"There is a sense of discrimination among people here. The laws applied in the rest of the country are not implemented here," she said, while referring to the alleged scams, sex scandals and mysterious deaths during the NC rule.
She also expressed unhappiness over the hanging of Parliament attack-convict Afzal Guru, saying, "He was hanged despite being at number 29 in the death row". "Devinderpal Singh Bhullar's death sentence was commuted but not of Guru's. This gives a sense of discrimination."
Mehbooba is pitted against Mehboob Beg, NC's sitting member of Parliament. She is, however, riding high on the fact that her party at present has 12 MLAs out of 16 from south Kashmir. At present, the PDP has no MPs.
Earlier in the day, Mehbooba's filing of nomination witnessed high-drama when she failed to produce her bank account details as per the election commission guidelines. At around 12.30pm, she arrived at the district commissioner's office.
When she was asked to produce fresh bank account details, she expressed ignorance. She asked several local MLAs to open a bank account on April 1, when most banks are closed for public dealings. They were seen arranging pictures and other details for the bank account. It was only around 2.30pm that she fulfilled all formalities for the nomination.
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