Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti will now onwards move in a private car without any security cover. She will have to borrow it from a friend since she does not own one.
"Perhaps I am the only member of Parliament in the country who doesn't own a car, so I will have to borrow it from a friend," Mehbooba told Hindustan Times in a telephonic interview.
She and her father -- former Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed -- have surrendered their security cover and asked Chief Minister GN Azad to fulfill his promise of reducing troops and their powers in Jammu and Kashmir.
"I have sent back all my security cover and Mufti Sayeed has also done the same. Now we want the Chief Minister to take further action on this by recalling troops and reducing their powers."
Though she admitted that there was a lack of understanding between the two coalition partners, PDP chief said that her party would not force a crisis nor withdraw support from the government. "I am not saying that we are pulling off from the government. There is nothing like that."
Mufti Sayeed had stated this in a letter to Chief Minister on Tuesday. Their move has been endorsed by their party's eight ministers and 25 legislators in the two houses of the state legislature.
Mehbooba said that this was a "small price" for the " bigger benefit of the people of the state."
Ever since she became MLA on Congress ticket 1996, she had security cover. It was upgraded to Z plus after a series of attacks on her. She quit Congress in July 1999 and helped her father found PDP. She was again elected as MLA in 2002 and then quit her seat and contested and won parliamentary elections in 2004. She is now member parliament from Anantnag constituency in South Kashmir.
Her father Mufti Sayeed, who became country's first Muslim Home Minister in the VP Singh Government in 1989, had Z plus security during these days. It was given to him when he became Chief Minister in November 2002.
However, some of the ministers of PDP and lawmakers arrived at State legislative Assembly with their personal security guards but without the escort vehicles.
"We have written that our security be withdrawn, now it is for Chief Minister to take action," Finance Minister Tariq Hameed Karra said.
Minutes later, his colleague Muzzaffar Hussain Baig, who was the defacto number two in the coalition government for almost four years (November 2002 to August 2006), when asked why they did not take this step when the PDP was ruling the state, he quipped: "Then no one asked to write to give up our security cover."