Srinagar: People’s Democratic Party (PDP) president and former Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, today accused the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) of resorting to coercive measures and intimidating recently elected District Development Council members.
Addressing the party workers and DDC election winners at PDP headquarters in Srinagar, she said that the BJP thought that the political parties in Kashmir will not participate in elections and after results, it is resorting to coercive measures.
“Who won more seats and who won less in the PAGD; I have got nothing to do with that, because at times, for a bigger cause, one has to give sacrifices. We feel we are doing well at the ground level as a party. They had thought that we will not participate in DDC elections, but we decided to fight it together, and, since the day the results are out, they are frustrated and are resorting to the coercive measures”, she said.
“The enemies had even written our obituaries, but with the help of Almighty, these elections proved that PDP is not a common party, but is a movement in itself”, she said.
Mufti said that they stand for reconciliation but BJP is resorting to gangstersim. “The Government of India is tarnishing the Constitution of India, while we have always demanded everything within the ambit of the Constitution. We stand for peace and reconciliation, while they are resorting to Gunda Gardi”, she said.
“Democracy is not only about votes, what about the rights of the people who cast their votes or those who are elected. Is this democracy?” she asked
The PDP chief while training her guns at BJP led Government in New Delhi said that history is witness whenever any party comes to power, it invites other smaller parties to join them to run the governance but “We are seeing reverse of everything.” “BJP made country’s top agencies as its partners including NIA, ED, CBI to only suppress people and intimidate them,” she alleged.
She said that in the past two months, there is hardly any worker who wasn’t intimidated, threatened, warned and now “DDC winners are being blackmailed to join other parties.”
“A person who was caught along with three guns in his car was let go and his case was withdrawn as he became BJP’s proxy,” said Mehbooba, adding that on the contrary PDP youth leader Waheed Para, who made hundreds of youth to join PDP was put behind the bars by NIA.
“Waheed is the same youth who brought 6000 youth to former Home Minister of India’s rally in Kashmir. Despite court orders, he wasn’t allowed to take oath in jail. How can he be linked with militants as he was working bring youth towards mainstream?”, she said.
The PDP president said that they are not fighting against the people of India, but against a party, and a Government which decimated the pride and identity of people J&K on August 5 last year.
She said that the PDP was founded to play its role for the resolution of Kashmir issue. “No matter how much stringent approach they will employ here, but they will have to resolve the Kashmir issue. They will have to turn J&K into a bridge between India and Pakistan which was started by Vajpayee Ji”, she said.
“Mufti sahib asked people to give him just 40 seats and that he wants to pull out Kashmiris from miseries and hardships. He had not say give him these seats and he want to become Chief Minister”, she said.
Mehbooba said: “When the results came, he would have easily become a Chief Minister by forming the Government with the Congress, but he had promised people of J&K something else, what happened after that you know that well?”, she said.
“We tried to cage the genie in a bottle, we tried to cage BJP in a bottle. We told them that you have 370 in your agenda, but if you are to form a Government with us, you are not going to touch 370. You will have talk to Hurriyat as well as Pakistan, you will have to repeal AFSPA; you will have to open up roads”, she said.
She said that her party never talked anything unconstitutional. “We have never talked of anything outside the Constitution of India. When we talked about talking to Hurriyat, we had an example of LK Advani Ji talking to them during the time of Vajpayee Ji. When we talked about talking to Pakistan and opening up roads, we had an example of Vajpayee Ji”, she said.
“The BJP agreed to all these terms as we had told them that the formation of Government in J&K is subject to agreement to these terms”, she said.
“But then things were not well, even after that I rolled back the FIRs against 12,000 youths of J&K. We made it sure that the All Party Delegation reaches out to Hurriyat leaders, but unfortunately, doors were shut to them and the entire country was looking at Kashmir to see what’s going to be the response of the people of Kashmir and what happened after that was a wrong message went out to the people of the country”, she said.
“The then Home Minister kept on saying that his doors were open for talks, but there was no response to his calls. We were able to even materialise one-month ceasefire, but there was no response from this side”, she added.
Mehbooba said that her Government would not have collapsed if she would have compromised. “We did not compromise on our principles when we were in power with the BJP. If we had compromised, then I think, the Government would not have collapsed”, she said.
”They used to say that we are weak, there are repeated incidents of stone-pelting, and that I will have to take stringent measures, a crackdown on Jamat-e-Islami, agree to not giving back the dead bodies of militants to their families, slap PSAs on more and more people—to which I disagreed—and which you see is happening these days”, she said.