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If BJP tries to break PDP, result will be dangerous, says Mehbooba Mufti

Mufti said if Delhi tries to dismiss the voting rights of the people of Kashmir like it did in 1987, creates divisions and interferes in the state “Salahuddin and a Yasin Malik” will be created.

india Updated: Jul 13, 2018 22:21 IST
Mir Ehsan
Mir Ehsan
Hindustan Times, Srinagar
Mehbooba Mufti,Jammu and Kashmir,BJP
Jammu and Kashmir former chef minister and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti.(PTI file photo)

People’s Democratic Party (PDP) president and former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Mehbooba Mufti, on Friday issued a strong warning to former ally Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that efforts to break her party could have “dangerous consequences”.

“Our party is intact and strong. There are problems just like we have problems in families. The breakup within the PDP can only happen with the support of Delhi. If they (Delhi) will do the same what they did to Muslim United Front (MUF) to crush it ... with the PDP it will have dangerous consequences,” Mufti said after paying tributes on Kashmir Martyrs Day in Srinagar while being flanked by other leaders of her party.

This is the first time Mufti has blamed Delhi for trying to break the PDP after five to six legislators openly spoke against her and revolted against the party. The revolt is being led by former minister and legislator from Pattan, Imraz Reza Ansari.

Mufti further said if Delhi tries to dismiss the voting rights of the people of Kashmir as it did in 1987, creates divisions and interferes in the state “Salahuddin and a Yasin Malik” will be created.

The separatist leader Yasin Malik is the head of the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front. Salahuddin is the Pakistan based head of the United Jihad Council. Mufti’s reference to 1987 is based on the widely held perception in the valley that the centre had rigged the elections held that year. Salahuddin was an MUF candidate, and Malik his polling agent. Some MUF leaders were also arrested . It was after the election and the crackdown that militancy started in the valley, with some of those who had participated in the democratic process turning to violence.

National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah said “not one new militant will be created” in case of the breakup of the PDP. “People will not mourn the demise of a party created in Delhi only to divide the votes of Kashmiris,” Abdullah tweeted.

“She must really be desperate if she is threatening the Centre with renewed militancy if PDP breaks up. She seems to have forgotten that militancy in Kashmir has already been reborn under her most able administration,” he added.

In response to Mufti’s statement that comes close on the heels of the BJP pulling out of the coalition government in the state in June; BJP general secretary Ram Madhav tweeted a picture that had former CM of J&K and NC leader Farooq Abdullah and former CM and PDP leader Mufti Sayeed flanking the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. Mufti Sayeed then was with the Congress.

“A 1987-vintage picture. ‘Delhi’ with Farooq Abdullah. D other leader in picture is easily recognisable, at least by Mehbooba ji, who accuses, wrongly, ‘Delhi’ for her own party’s internal problems..” Madhav, who was considered the architect of the coalition, tweeted.

While Mufti did not comment on the picture that was taken in 1987, it was Omar Abdullah who took a dig at the BJP.

“Here @MehboobaMufti, it takes your estranged friends & allies to remind you of your family history when you talk about 1987,” he tweeted, which led to an exchange with Madhav, who retorted: “Incidentally, we were also allies for a couple of years Omarji!”.

The wrangling continued with Abdullah writing: “We were but Vajpayee Sahib ka zamana kuch aur he tha, us dour ka kya kehna. Those days it was ‘insaniyat, jamhuriyat aur Kashmiriyat’, to which Madhav responded with : “From our side it continues to be Vajpayee principle of Insaniyat, Jamhuriyat n Kashmiriyat only. D other side talks of Salahuddins n Yasin Maliks.”

Ansari, who is leading the dissident group within the PDP, said that people are celebrating because the government of cronies has been thrown out. “R u telling me Mehbooba Mufti that people will take to guns bcos u and ur cronies have been driven out of power. It is an end to cronyism. People r celebrating wake up. I am one of the dissenters. R u Mehbooba mufti telling me that Delhi convinced me to Rebel against u wake up from ur slumber. U humiliated me for three years,’’ Ansari tweeted.

Ansari blamed Mehbooba Mufti for blackmailing the Centre and said she is putting the lives of rebel assembly members at risk. ‘Don’t tell me Mehbooba mufti that u r a novice and don’t know that painting rebellion as a Delhi exercise puts rebels lives’ at a risk. Stop being a white collar killer. What ninety r u talking of Mehbooba mufti. U have already surpassed ninety in ur tenure. Stop issuing threats and stop blackmailing. There is no appetite for all this song and dance.’’

Mufti resigned in June after the BJP ended its three-year alliance with her party, citing a heightening security crisis in Jammu and Kashmir. The state was placed under Governor’s Rule on June 20. However, after her resignation, six of her legislators spoke out against her and blamed the former chief minister for turning the party into a family fiefdom. Mufti has in the past few days tried to reconcile with dissident legislators. But they have refused to meet her, giving rise to speculations that the PDP might split.

First Published: Jul 13, 2018 10:14 IST