Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today hit back at National Conference for faulting it for forging a coalition with BJP, reminding the opposition party that it too had joined hands with the saffron party. The PDP chief asserted that her party has not compromised its agenda including status quo on Article 370 of the Constitution which guarantees special status to the state, while the NC had tied up with BJP just to “grab power”.
The Chief Minister also took strong exception to the statement of Jammu Chapter of Chamber of Commerce and Industries threatening a violent movement against “illegal foreign settlers” if the government fails to deport them within 10 days. Mehbooba said “strict action will be taken against anyone who will try to take the law into his own hands”.
Referring to the poll campaign by the NC seeking votes against PDP for entering into an alliance with BJP, Mehbooba said the opposition party had tied-up with all national parties including BJP in the past to attain power in the state. “Our opposition party had entered into alliances with all parties (be it Congress or BJP) in the past.
“It had Indira-Sheikh accord (between former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and NC founder and former chief Minister Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah), Rajiv-Farooq accord (between former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and NC president Farooq Abdullah).”
It had “Rahul-Omar accord (between Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah) and that too without any agenda,” Mehbooba told reporters after addressing a party convention at Anantnag in south Kashmir. The bypolls in Srinagar and Anantnag parliamentary constituencies are going to be held on April 9 and 12 respectively.
Mehbooba reminded the NC that in 1999 Omar was made a minister of state in the then BJP-led government at the Centre. “Those in opposition need to think that whenever they entered into an alliance, whether with BJP or Congress, what was their agenda?,” she said alleging they stitched their coalition just to “grab power”.
In contrast, the Chief Minister said, her party entered into an alliance with the BJP with a clear agenda. “When PDP was formed, we made it amply clear that talks, whether with Pakistan or people of Jammu and Kashmir are the only way to take Kashmir out from the morass.
“We have not compromised with our agenda,” she said. She said people were apprehensive about revocation of Article 370 of the Constitution but “we made it clear that there will be status quo as far as Article 370 is concerned. “We favour dialogue and opening of new routes (along the Line of Control).”
About the “threat” held out by Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industries against illegal foreign settlers, the chief minister said strict action will be taken against anyone who will try to take the law into their own hands. “Whosoever tries to take law into his hands, strict action will be taken against him. “And if anyone tries to threaten anyone, they will face strict action,” Mehbooba said.