Srinagar: Attacking the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and rebels from her party, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti on Monday claimed a set Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leaders colluded with “Nagpur” in order to break her party after the death of her father Mufti Sayeed on January 7, 2016.
Mehbooba, who was speaking to reporters following her speech to mark Mufti Sayeed third death anniversary, also attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“The mandate which Modiji had, he wasted it. He (Modi) would repeatedly say that he will solve the Jammu-Kashmir issue by following the footsteps of Vajpayeeji (Atal Bihari Vajpayee), will improve relations with Pakistan. Unfortunately Modiji completely wasted his mandate. He wasted his mandate in the entire country and with regards to Jammu and Kashmir did not adopt Vaypayeeji‘s approach due to which situation in the state deteriorated,” Mehbooba said.
Mehbooba’s speech comes in midst of a major crisis her party has been witnessing over the past two months. Several prominent leaders, ex-MLAs and members have left the party to join the Peoples’ Conference led by former separatist Sajad Lone.
“When Mufti sahab passed away, I wasn’t ready to form the government with BJP. I had placed some conditions in front of them(BJP) in which we had asked for the return of Kashmir’s power projects.The people, who are creating chaos in the party went to Nagpur and told them (RSS) to leave Mehbooba Mufti and we are ready to form a government by breaking PDP. They compromised and weakened my position. The BJP was ready to accept some conditions, but because of this, this (opportunity) was missed,” said Mehbooba.
Among the prominent leaders who have left the PDP is Imran Ansari, former MLA from Pattan. While speaking to The Wire he said that Mehbooba Mufti must reveal the names of leaders who visited Nagpur.
“A politician of her caliber should reveal that who were these people who went to Nagpur. She should identify them,” Ansari said adding that the main reason for him and others leaving the PDP was that “the party was not the PDP that they knew”.
He also termed Mehbooba’s visit to family members of militants and critique of BJP as “politics”. When asked if Mehbooba’s bashing the BJP will hurt a possible PC-BJP tie up he said that “this was a perception being created.”
“We are fielding candidates on all the 87 assembly seats so where is the question of a tie up. On the other hand the National Conference and the PDP wants to act holly but the truth is that both have had alliances with the National Democratic alliance and BJP,” said Ansari. He also took the opportunity to attack the National Conference.
“Dr Farooq Abdullah is saying that he will help in building the Ram Mandir. I challenge the BJP and PDP to promise the public that they will never ally with BJP. The problem is that these two families want to retain power (Muftis and Abdullahs) and now when a new man (Sajad Lone) has emerged they are riled up. Even Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad today is saying in the parliament that they need to protect these two families as they always stood for India in Kashmir. Is this a joke,” Ansari said.
NC spokesperson Imran Dar took the opportunity to attack both the PC and PDP and said that people will not be fooled by their machinations.
“Those leaving the PDP have already been called garbage by their own former leader Mehbooba Mufti. Instead of throwing muck they should do some introspection and resolve their own issues. The National Conference would not like any part of this blame game and let our actions speak instead,” Dar said.
Dar was responding to Mehbooba’s comments earlier in the day where she asked youth to join PDP as “garbage in the party” had gone.
“From this platform, I want to invite the youth of Jammu and Kashmir who are educated and interested in resolution of the Kashmir issue to come and join us…all the garbage in the party has gone out with the wind,” she said while referring to a spree of resignations of her party leaders.
Reacting to the comments former J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah tweeted:
Last year at this very time they were defending her in the assembly & council. With her they were “honest, decent, hardworking” people & after they leave they become “garbage”. The world of politics is indeed a cruel world. https://t.co/YHbtZJpXMi
— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) January 7, 2019
Election in charge of the BJP in Jammu and Kashmir, Avinash Rai Khanna while speaking to The Wire said that neither the RSS nor any of its organisations including BJP believe in breaking parties.
“If that was the case we would have formed the government (in J&K) already. Mehbooba Mufti should put her house in order before attacking others,” Khanna said.
The Wire also tried to get in touch with BJP leader Ram Madhav who closely works on Kashmir. His private secretary said that Madhav was not available to make a comment.
With her speech earlier in the day Mehbooba raked quite a few controversies and also apologised for the comments she had made during the agitation following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant commander Burhan Wani.
Mehbooba received massive criticism when she had said “Had they gone to buy toffees” after she was asked about the killing of youth, especially teenagers, during the 2016 agitation. She made the comment while addressing a press conference in Srinagar along with home minister Rajnath Singh.
“Didn’t I have this right to tell these children in a loud voice that you were part of my rallies… why were you asked to stand in the front of those rallies (protest demonstrations) where you, God forbid, got injured,” said Mehbooba.“I still apologise if anyone was hurt,” she said: “What else can I do?”.