April 2017 News

Tasaduq Mufti Fled, Ruined Democracy's Progress: J&K Congress President Ghulam Ahmad Mir

20 April 2017
The Economic Times
CL Manoj

New Delhi: Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee president Ghulam Ahmad Mir has claimed that PDP candidate Tasadaq Mufti had fled from elections to avoid defeat. He alleged that the ruling coalition 'managed' to postpone the Anantnag Lok Sabha by-election, delivering a 'blow' to the democratic process in J&K. Mir is the Congress-National Conference candidate pitted against PDP nominee and chief minister Mehbooba Mufti's brother in Anantnag. 'There was absolutely no need for postponing the Anantnag Lok Sabha by-poll. Neither the Congress-National Conference, nor me, had demanded postponement. Unlike in Srinagar, where there were major efforts to disrupt the by-election, the situation in Anantnag was better. The Congress-NC leaders and workers were by the people and fully involved in campaigning, determined not only to win but also strengthen the democratic process in the state. Election officials had arrived for duty and postal ballots were cast too. But Tasadaq Mufti, making his electoral debut, lost his nerve when he realised he was facing a huge defeat. Tasadaq, by fleeing from the election field to avoid defeat, and the ruling PDP-BJP coalition that got the election postponed through manipulation have delivered a major blow to the progress of delicately-nurtured democratic process in Jammu and Kashmir,' Mir told ET. 'Tasaduq's lament about deepening crisis, disconnect with youth, increasing violence in the state and the failure to deliver on the promised agenda of the BJP-PDP coalition' amounted to endorsing what Opposition parties have been saying, he said. 'Chief minister Mehbooba Mufti must step down immediately in view of even her brother showing lack of confidence in her government and ruling BJP-PDP coalition. If not, the Centre must dismiss the state government, impose governor's rule and restart dialogue with all stakeholders, including mainstream parties, youth and even Hurriyat Conference leaders.' The PCC chief said 'while PDP and BJP are blaming each other for the failure of their coalition government, the whole people Kashmir are blaming the ruling coalition for the situation in the state.' Tasaduq Mufti, 44, is an established cinematographer but political novice who is trying to enter Parliament by contesting the Anantnag LS seat vacated by his sister Mehbooba after she took over as CM following the death of their father Mufti Mohd Sayeed. Mir said his party had placed the demand for governor's rule before the President when a Congress delegation met him on Wednesday.