‘As CM, I strongly defended JK’s interests, didn’t sign dotted line’
Srinagar, Jan 7: Appealing party workers to repose trust and confidence in her party, Peoples Democratic Party President Mehbooba Mufti said that formation of the government or coming to power has never been a priority for her and her party.
Addressing a commemoration ceremony of third death anniversary of PDP founder Mufti Mohammad Sayeed at Bejbehara, Mehbooba said that the government would have continued for six years if she had not strongly defended the interests of the state and its people. She added that if she had signed on dotted line like in the case of Afzal Guru, the PDP government wouldn’t have been toppled by the BJP. She added that since she remained consistently firm on PDP’s agenda which was included in agenda of alliance, the BJP had to run away. “Otherwise, there wasn’t any other reason for the BJP to withdraw its support. In spite of the problems that we faced, we didn’t compromise on progress and development. However, the political agenda of the PDP and party’s firm belief on its principles led the BJP to turn its back. Being in the government PDP kept insisting for the withdrawal of the FIRs, amnesty for the stone pelters, and return of the power projects from the NHPC,” said the PDP President.
Mehbooba said that she regrets the remark she made during the 2016 unrest. She, however, stated that the utterance was due to the pain of seeing teenagers being pushed into the army camps and kept in front of the mobs. “That remark was made out of the motherly concern as I was outraged over the way in which children are being pushed into the danger zones. The precious lives that were lost during that year is a loss to me and to the families of those kids. I have fought with army and Ikhwan only for the people and to make their lives safe and secure,” Mehbooba said.
The PDP president said that whether in power or not, PDP’s main aim has always been to resolve problems of Kashmir. “And the best model for that is the period between 2002 and 2005. After the 2014 polls the PDP didn’t get a clear mandate and out of the compulsion had to join hands with the BJP. The party was hopeful that Modi would behave like Vajpayee but he didn’t and that was a letdown. When in November 2015, a rally was organized by the PDP for Modi, People had come on Mufti Sahib’s call to listen. However, Modi didn’t rise to the occasion and things started falling apart,” Mehbooba said.
She added that after the death of PDP Founder Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, she tried to bargain with the BJP for four long months, demanding the return of power projects, peace initiatives, and confidence-building measures. “When things were taking the final shape, our own people went to Nagpur and told the BJP that the government could be formed even without Mehbooba Mufti. With a sole aim to save the party and stop them from handing over everything to BJP, I reluctantly had to make a coalition with the BJP in the state. Otherwise, I wasn’t willing to form the coalition with the party had reneged on the promises made to Mufti Mohammad Sayeed,” she said.