At UPA Meet, PDP Assures Support To Cong

11 July 2008

Srinagar: President of Peoples Democratic Party, Mehbooba Mufti, Friday attended UPA leaders meet in New Delhi to decide on their strategy for the Vote of Confidence following withdrawal of Left. Mehbooba reiterated the party’s stand to support the government during the floor test. She said PDP was hopeful that New Delhi wouldn’t intervene in the upcoming assembly elections in the state. Talking to Greater Kashmir on phone from New Delhi, Mehbooba said the secular policies of the government were the driving forces for them to support the UPA. Mehbooba, the lone member of the PDP in the Union parliament, said she put forth her viewpoint in the meeting that some communal forces were trying to pull down the UPA government. The meeting was held at the prime minister’s residence. “I said though BJP was stating that the nuclear deal would prevent the country from taking independent decisions, the whole process was started by them. PDP believes in the secular policies of the UPA government and I reiterated the party’s stand to back the Manmohan Singh government,” Mehbooba said. About the delay by the National Conference to decide whether to support the deal, Mehbooba said nothing was predictable about the party. She said it was the National Conference that supported BJP-led NDA government in 1996 and “gave absolute powers” to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board in the state. “They are even sharing offices with Bhartiya Janata Party in the Jammu Municipal Corporation. The party can go to any extent for their petty interests,” Mehbooba said. She said it was being said that nuclear deal is anti-Muslim. “It is a known fact that majority of Muslim countries are against the deal due to its connections to America but at the same time the countries are engaged in trade with US.” She said the UPA government had all along stood by the policies of the PDP in the state. “It was the rigidity of Azad Sahab over the land issue that forced us to withdraw support to Congress in the state,” Mehbooba said. About the upcoming assembly elections, she said PDP was hopeful that elections would be held on schedule. “There should not be a delay in the elections. We are hopeful that New Delhi won’t intervene in the elections.” She said it was the UPA government’s decision to uphold the democratic values that prevented former chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad from horse trading to prove majority. “Otherwise Azad Sahab was taking proud that he has more than required number of MLAs to prove majority.”