Tribune press service
New Delhi, December 7
The ruling BJP runs Jammu and Kashmir as a colony and treats it as a laboratory for nationally replicable experiments, People’s Democratic Party leader Mehbooba Mufti said on Tuesday.
Speaking to reporters from the Indian Women’s Press Corps a day after staging a protest in Jantar Mantar for the reinstatement of Section 370, Mufti reiterated the PDP’s stance of challenging the J&K elections as the they were performing and said she would not show up personally.
âOf course we will fight for the elections. We will not give them any space (BJP). I will not personally challenge until Articles 370 and 35-A are reinstated, âsaid Mufti, whose party has kept a distance from the ongoing demarcation exercise in the UT.
The former J&K chief minister also lamented the ongoing political awareness of Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad in Jammu and said: “Ghulam Nabi Azad’s measures will divide the opposition votes and benefit the BJP.”
Evasive on the larger issue of opposition disunity with parties like the TMC and Congress pulling in different directions, Mufti said: âPolitical parties will always have their own agendas. But in J&K, the constituents of the People’s Alliance for the Gupkar Declaration have a common goal which is the restoration of Article 370 and the return to the status before August 5, 2019. On this request, we are all together.
Mufti also said that there had been no communication from the government since Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s June 24 meeting with the main parties in Jammu and Kashmir.
âThe responsibility for dialogue lies with the Center, not with us. We have nothing to give to the Center. They have to keep their word, âsaid Mufti, dismissing the ongoing demarcation exercise at J&K as part of BJP’s larger agenda.
âThey want to carve out ridings based on their political interests. The very fact that they chose J&K for the delineation reveals that there is an agenda at work. Otherwise why would they not have waited until 2026 to undertake the delimitation exercise? What was the need for such an exercise at this time? Asked Mufti, whose party boycotted committee meetings.
The PDP leader also took issue with the government’s narrative that J&K was peaceful and making progress after Section 370 was repealed on August 5, 2019.
âThis is a false account. The point is, we feel suffocated. I cannot meet the victims of the atrocities committed by the security personnel. The doors are locked. I have no freedom to protest. is why I protested yesterday against Jantar Mantar. The BJP is running J&K in a colonial spirit. J&K has become a laboratory for them to test everything that needs to be done nationally, “Mehbooba said alleging that” India’s Mahatma Gandhi had become the India of Godse â.
The PDP leader also said that “the great pillars of democracy, the media and the judiciary have failed the people of J&K”.
She referred to the petitions contesting the repeal of article 370 pending before the SC for more than two years.
Reiterating her position that India and Pakistan must discuss to find a solution to the J&K problem, Mehbooba said she has not seen a greater statesman than the late Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee.
âThe Vajpayee book is here. The BJP just needs to open it. Reconciliation and dialogue are the only outcomes. Vajpayee ji not only spoke in Pakistan, he even went there even though there was an attack on Kargil and Parliament, âsaid former JK CM.