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HindustanTimes Tue,23 Sep 2014

UT status to Ladakh will dilute J-K's spl status: Mehbooba

PTI  Srinagar, April 16, 2014
First Published: 19:59 IST(16/4/2014) | Last Updated: 07:06 IST(17/4/2014)

Peoples' Democratic Party (PDP) on Wednesday hit out at Congress for including the demand for a Union Territory (UT) status to Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir, saying such a move will not only divide the state but dilute its special status as well.

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"Such a move will not only divide Jammu and Kashmir, but will also dilute the special status that the state enjoys under Article 370 of the constitution," PDP president Mehbooba Mufti told PTI.

The demand for a Union Territory status is part of Congress manifesto for 2014 parliamentary polls for Ladakh which mentions that the party "stands for the struggle for the Union Territory status to Ladakh."

The manifesto was released by the party during an election rally held in support of its candidate for Ladakh parliamentary seat, Tsering Samphel, at Leh yesterday, where senior party leader and state cabinet minister Nawang Rigzin Jora was present.

Mehbooba also accused Congress of playing "polarising" politics while trying to "outsmart" BJP.

"Congress is trying to outsmart BJP. It is trying to play a polarising card. They hanged Afzal Guru (Parliament attack convict) as part of it and to outsmart BJP.

"He was not hanged on the matter of principles but to score a point over BJP. Now also, they want to score a point over BJP, as BJP supports the demand for Union Territory status for Ladakh," she said.

Mehbooba also criticised the ruling National Conference (NC) in the state, saying it was "hypocritical" of the party to have an alliance with those parties who want to divide the state.

"NC has always been hypocritical. How did they join hands with such a party (BJP) which is principally opposed to Article 370?" she said.

"They (NC) joined hands with BJP and Omar Abdullah was a minister at the Centre when Gujarat (riots) happened in 2002.

And now they are in alliance with a party which is demanding the Union Territory status for Ladakh and trying to divide the state," she said.

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