Governor interfering in political matters: PDP

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SummaryMehbooba’s attack on the Governor comes in the wake of the party’s growing differences with its coalition partner, the Congress

The J-K government’s main coalition partner, the People’s Democratic Party, today launched a frontal attack on Governor S K Sinha, accusing him of interfering in the political affairs of the state. It also demanded a local, elected Governor for Jammu and Kashmir.

Addressing a press conference, PDP president Mehbooba Mufti said Sinha had failed to remain apolitical. ‘‘In order to restore confidence of the people of J&K, the Governor should be local and elected.’’

Mufti’s attack on the Governor comes in the wake of the party’s growing differences with its coalition partner, the Congress, over the recent support by some of its leaders for the opposition National Conference in the bypolls to four assembly segments. The differences deepened after the parties came out openly against each other in the sex abuse case.

The PDP’s relations with Governor Sinha, on the other hand, were already sour over the duration of the Amarnath Yatra. While the PDP was in favour of a one-month yatra, Sinha sought its extension by another month. Several Congress leaders had sided with the Governor on this.

PDP sources said the party, in need of an issue to keep ally Congress in check, has chosen to go after the Governor. Mufti, in fact, accused the Centre of undermining the state legislature and referred to the ‘‘summary rejection’’ of the autonomy proposal passed by the Assembly.

Moving on to the second roundtable conference that concluded yesterday, the PDP president said a number of issues raised by her party had received a positive response from the Prime Minister. She pointed out that her party had been repeatedly criticised for seeking assistance for families of militants and she appreciated Manmohan Singh for announcing measures for them.

Mufti said self-rule was also debated. She said this was a win-win situation for both the geographical needs and the regional aspirations of the people.

‘‘It is not important who is behind this proposal,’’ she said, referring to the fact that it was proposed by Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf.

On the Kashmir sex abuse, Mufti said it wasn’t as much a scam as simple ‘‘flesh trade’’, and that this could be checked by providing jobs to the girls.

-muzaffar.raina@expressindia.com

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