Never discriminated against Jammu and Ladakh: Mehbooba Mufti
She said her father Mufti Mohammed Sayeed had “golden” period of three-year rule with the support of the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee but things did not work out with present incumbent.Updated: Jul 31, 2018 14:22 IST
Hindustan Times, Jammu
Former chief minister and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti on Monday strongly rejected the allegations of discrimination against Jammu and Ladakh regions and said PDP’s decision to join hands with the BJP was a difficult one and akin to drinking poison.
She said her father Mufti Mohammed Sayeed had “golden” period of three-year rule with the support of the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee but things did not work out with present incumbent.
“We did not join hands with the BJP for the chair. Mufti Sahib had a vision and wanted cooperation from the BJP under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi similar to what he had experienced during Vajpayee ji’s time, but unfortunately, it did not happen,” she said.
Addressing around 700 party workers to mark the 19th foundation day of PDP, the former CM’s uneasiness at the dais during her 18-minute speech caused concern among the party leaders. After having lemonade water, she resumed her address from her chair itself, explaining that she “felt uncomfortable” due to hot and humid weather conditions.
“We had a good experience of alliance during Vajpayee ji’s reign following which Mufti Sahib agreed to join hands with BJP. But this time, it was difficult for us. There was hatred in Kashmir against us because of this decision. People in Kashmir felt they had faced miseries because of this decision. Mufti Sahib was in power for 10 months and I remained in the office for two years and two months. We faced many odds and difficulties.”
Recalling how former PM Vajpayee ensured free and fair elections in Jammu and Kashmir in 2002 when PDP formed coalition government with the Congress, she said, “In 2014 assembly elections the BJP got mandate in Jammu and PDP in Kashmir. We argued with Mufti Sahib, who said that there is no way out than to join hands with the BJP.”
“Mufti Sahib never wanted to exclude Jammu because it had given 25 seats to BJP and was also indebted to the people of Jammu because he was given mandate from RS Pura constituency (1985 assembly by-elections),” she said.
On the order of tribal affairs ministry pertaining to Gujjars, she said, “We had said in cabinet that a law will be brought for them but BJP didn’t agree. We then formed a committee but no meeting took place. Then I chaired a meeting of tribal affairs ministry and said that until forest act comes up Gujjars should be protected.”
On Article 370, she said,“Stop all rhetoric on Article 370. It is the only bridge that connects Jammu and Kashmir with India. If you break it, everything will be ruined.”
On Kathua rape, murder case, Mehbooba said, “The time when I was trying my best to improve the situation in Kashmir, an unfortunate Rassana case happened. Some people made it Hindu versus Muslim issue. I would like to remind those who talk about Dogras about a Dogra Maharaja (Hari Singh), who had banned a king from other
state because he had made some derogatory remarks about a daughter from Kashmir. They are the real Dogras and not those who take flags make it a Hindu Muslim issue and support perpetrators of such heinous crime. A rapist has no religion. He is only rapist.”
First Published: Jul 31, 2018 14:22 IST