The PDP will contest the upcoming assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir, party president Mehbooba Mufti said on Sunday, rejecting an alliance with its former alliance partner BJP. The former chief minister said the situation in Jammu and Kashmir was far from normal as was evident from the twin attacks in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district where a policeman and a non-local laborer were killed by terrorists on Friday.
“PDP (assembly) will contest the elections. As far as the alliance is concerned, the question is premature but one thing is absolutely clear that we will not go with that party (BJP). Headed the government in 2018, ending a three-year-old alliance with the party.
Mehbooba has repeatedly made it clear that she herself is not going to contest the assembly elections as she aims to demand the restoration of Article 370 of the Constitution which was abrogated by the BJP-led government in August 2019.
His claim that everything is normal in Jammu and Kashmir is absolutely wrong. People are silent and silence does not mean that the situation has improved. They are feeling suffocated while they (BJP) are trying to show that everything is fine.”
Referring to the one-day strike call for September 22 given by the Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industry against alleged attempts to decriminalize local business by allowing large corporate chains to open their outlets, he said that those who claim The BJP had done in support of the abrogation, going on strike in protest against Article 370. At least they are registering their protest but people in Kashmir cannot do that either. The PDP leader said that if they resort to strike they are forced to open their shops.
He alleged that he was only concerned about the commission which he used to buy opposition MLAs to topple an elected government.
When asked about the removal of the national flag from a building in Kotranka in Rajouri district during his visit, he said, “I have no idea. Ask the police about this.
An FIR was registered against unidentified persons for removing the national flag from a building in Kotranka during the intervening night of September 17 and 18, police said on Saturday. Responding to a question about the visit of 70 Union ministers to different parts of Jammu and Kashmir and their remarks that Article 370 was a hindrance in the development of the Union Territory, Mehbooba said, “This is nothing but a way of portraying it. There is a photo opportunity that the situation is normal. But if the situation is normal, then why are the Zilla Vikas Parishad (DDC) members kept under security in hotels and other buildings and not allowed to move around freely.”
“He should go to Uttar Pradesh to campaign for the next assembly election. They should go there and find out the reasons for throwing bodies in the holy river Ganga and the condition of the people.” On the slow pace of work on various projects in Jammu, he said, “Nothing is happening in Jammu. and Kashmir. Many of these projects were sanctioned during the previous government.”
He alleged that corruption is at an all-time high in Jammu and Kashmir with all government departments affected, while the poor people are facing starvation in the backdrop of rising prices of essential commodities and fuel.