Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti on Friday said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his party BJP are using Kashmir situation for political ends after “miserably failing” to deliver on 2014 election promises.
“Militants’ killings, raids on Hurriyat leaders, air strike inside Pakistan are being used by the BJP for political ends. They have failed to deliver on poll promises,” Mehbooba told a public rally at Uri.“I don’t mind being called a soft separatist if the BJP considers talking about resolution of Kashmir issue and safeguarding special status of the state as soft separatism.”
She said BJP was trying to dilute “our identity” by attempting to fiddle with the special status of the state, which is the crux of the Accession with the Union of India. She said such attempts are aimed at changing the demography of the Muslim-majority Jammu and Kashmir.
“BJP is trying to divide the society on the basis of religion and caste. We thought we will change their communal agenda by forming a coalition government with them but we could not. The BJP has no secular ethos,” said Mehbooba in reply to a reporter’s question.
She told the gathering that “conspiracies are being hatched to dilute the Muslim identity of the state”. “Abrogation of special status is not integration with the India but attempt to end the Muslim identity of the people of the state,” she said.
She said many candidates nominated in this election are seeking votes on the basis of ethnicity such as Pahari, Gujjar, Kashmiri, Shia and Sunni. Asking people to reject those who seek votes on the basis of their Pahari identity in Uri, she said such “people are hand in glove with the BJP”.
“They are contesting this election under a different flag but are part of the BJP. They are the same people who in Delhi say that the Article 370 is not required for Pahari and Gujjar people and it is the Kashmiri speaking people only who demand its protection. They are not contesting on BJP ticket but are using money and influence of BJP in this election,” she said.“They are the same people who will sell the special status to New Delhi and that is their sole agenda,” she added.
Mehbooba said Uri area has a special place in Peoples Democratic Party as it is the same place where 14 PDP workers lost their lives for the opening of Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road. She added Mufti Muhammad Sayeed was always eager to uplift the socio-economic status of the people of Uri.