July 2018 News

If Delhi Breaks Our Party And Makes Sajjad As CM, It Will Erode Trust Of Kashmiris In Indian Democracy: Mehbooba

7 July 2018
Rising Kashmir

Srinagar: Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti has said if Delhi breaks her party and instals Sajjad Lone or somebody else as Chief Minister, it would erode trust of Kashmiris in Indian democracy. Appearing in India TV's 'Aap Ki Adalat', Mehbooba refuted reports about her party's efforts to forge a government with Congress. 'Had it been so, why should have I resigned? When our government (with BJP) fell, the Governor asked me whether I would like to explore other alternatives, and I told him, I will send my resignation within an hour,' she said. She claimed that PDP could have formed the government with Congress two years back. 'We did not, and formed the government (with BJP) for a greater aim which my father had envisioned.' Reacting strongly to reports about BJP trying to form a government by splitting the PDP, Mehbooba issued a veiled warning to Government of India, saying: 'If Delhi intervenes and breaks our party, and make Sajjad Ghani Lone or whosoever as Chief Minister, it will erode the trust of the Kashmiris in Indian democracy. Any intervention from Delhi will be taken seriously.' She challenged anybody to prove a single case of corruption against her. 'There was not a single paisa of corruption. Yes, there was corruption in the system at the lower levels, but we could not control that in two years.' Asked about rebel PDP MLA Abid Raza Ansari alleging that Mehbooba's close associate Naeem Akhtar had purchased 250 canals of land in Budgam, the former chief minister replied: 'I will not respond to allegations made by individuals. They can say anything. Some legislators were not made ministers, some were not given good portfolios.' 'The biggest source of corruption in the valley has always been in the matter of jobs. Our government appointed 8-10,000 police personnel, but there was not a single paisa of corruption involved. I dare anybody to prove a single paisa of corruption charge against me as an MLA, as an MP or as the Chief Minister, I will leave politics.' 'The previous chief ministers used to amass thousands of crores of rupee from big projects. One former chief minister has a house in Srinagar, a house in Jammu and one in Delhi,' she said' On charges of nepotism levelled by some dissident MLAs in her party, Mehbooba said, 'My brother Tasadduq is one of the best cinematographers in the world. After my father's passing away, I felt lonely and was undergoing emotional trauma. I persuaded Tasadduq to join politics. Earlier, I and my daddy used to work as a team. My uncle was in the party from those days, when people were unwilling to join PDP. Our relatives are not 'hawaa ke ghodey' (flying horses) who were planted in our party. They had been working at the grassroots since many years.' The former CM said there was 70 per cent improvement in the situation in the valley when unilateral ceasefire was enforced during Ramadan this year. 'People heaved a sigh of relief. This ceasefire was not meant for militants, it was meant for the common man. By discontinuing the ceasefire, we did what the militants really wanted,' she said. Mehbooba said for the first time during ceasefire, the Home Minister came to the Valley and no strike call was given. 'People were getting a sense of relief.' When told that PM Modi had a 56-inch chest to face challenges, she said: 'He will have to give at least one inch from his 56-inch chest for the people of Jammu and Kashmir. The idea of India is incomplete without the idea of Kashmir.' The PDP chief said families of separatist leaders should not be harassed. '(Hizbul chief) Syed Salahuddin is in Pakistan for last 30 years. His sons have been living in the valley for 30 years. They are not involved in any (separatist) activity, and yet they are being harassed. Salahuddin's son Shahid was arrested because his father sent Rs 3 lakhs from Pakistan for treatment of his ailing mother. When his bail plea came up, the judge was changed. He and his brothers were living the life of commoners.' About arrest of Dukhtaran-i-Millat chairperson Asiya Andrabi and her two aides by NIA, Mehbooba said, 'I had ordered the arrest of Asiya Indrabi. But the NIA has now brought her to Delhi. Will you bring Kashmiri women to Delhi (for prosecution) ?'