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Centre murdering democracy in J&K: Mehbooba Mufti

Mehbooba Mufti. File   | Photo Credit: V. Sudershan

Former Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Chief Minister and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday accused the Centre of “murdering democracy” in the Union Territory and questioned the presence of nine lakh troops there “if the dilution of Article 370 buried all issues”.

“They are murdering democracy while conducting the District Development Council (DDC) poll and the Mayor’s election. All the [Gupkar] alliance candidates are being confined to homes, while others enjoy full freedom,” Ms. Mufti said during a press conference in Srinagar.

On the arrest of PDP leader Waheed-ur-Rehman Parra days after he filed his nomination for the DDC poll from Pulwama, Ms. Mufti said Mr. Parra stood for “dialogue, reconciliation and democracy”.

“Despite being detained for 14 months, Parra decided to contest the poll for keeping the democracy alive. The next day he got a call from the National Investigation Agency (NIA),” she alleged. She claimed that opposition voices were being dubbed as “anti-national and booked under UAPA” by the BJP regime. “There seems to be no place for real democracy in BJP’s India.”

“Muslims are being dubbed as Pakistanis, Sikhs as Khalistanis, students, women as anti-national. I want to ask BJP that if everyone is anti-national, who is Hindustani then? BJP only?” she said.

Warning the BJP over terming the ongoing poll and the dilution of Article 370 as the end of the Kashmir problem, Ms. Mufti said, “If dilution of Article 370 has resolved all issues, why nine lakh troops are still stationed in Valley and why they have not been sent to borders?”

She said the high poll percentage “has no bearing on the Kashmir issue”. “Elections were held in the past as well. Kashmir is an issue, which needs to be resolved.”

She also accused the Centre of using the Roshni scam to “act against the poor”. “The BJP should go after big fish and not the poor who have not even five marlas of land in their possessions. Unfortunately, notices are being sent to the poor,” he claimed.

She also questioned the recent mayoral poll, which Apni Party leader Junaid Azim Mattu won. “Srinagar Municipal Corporation’s mayoral election was held despite the Model Code of Conduct being in place. They [BJP] are themselves murdering democracy. This is real dictatorship,” she said.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2021 7:01:03 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/centre-murdering-democracy-in-jk-mehbooba-mufti/article33207358.ece

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