Constituency watch: Jammu and Kashmir

Mehbooba Mufti, People’s Democratic Party president and candidate from the South Kashmir Lok Sabha constituency of Anantnag-Pulwama, said on Saturday that the ruling National Conference had always safeguarded the interests of some Delhi politicians and bureaucrats even as it sought vote in all elections to act as the custodian of Jammu and Kashmir’s interests.

Addressing rallies and road shows in Pulwama district, Ms. Mufti said the NC had stuck to power at the cost of the interests of the State. “Even in the past five years, this party [the NC] has stuck to power because of its special contacts in Delhi as it has comprised everything, including its own dignity and that of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, for its vested interest.”

She said that for being in power, the NC presided over the killing of hundreds of Kashmiri youths in 2010 and [Parliament attack case convict] Afzal Guru’s execution in 2013. “It gave an entire generation a bad name of being anti-nationals, criminals, drug addicts and LeT elements.”

“Instead of seeking any benefit for the State, the NC has always found comfort in surrendering political authority, administrative space, natural resources and institutions to the Centre,” she said.

Ms. Mufti said that in furtherance of the RBI’s interest, the NC changed the status of J&K Bank, “an institution that could make any State proud and confident.”

She alleged that the NC-led coalition government’s recent history was replete with “frauds and scandals.”

Ms. Mufti said the Lok Sabha elections were “a fight for dignity and justice for the people of the State.