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Mehbooba warns Centre of ‘extremely dangerous’ results if it ‘engineers’ split in PDP

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Srinagar, Jul 13: Former chief minister and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti today said any attempt by the Centre to “engineer” a split in her party will have “extremely dangerous” consequences.

Mehbooba resigned as chief minister on June 19 after the BJP pulled out of the coalition with the PDP in the state and withdrew support to her government.

“My party is strong, there are differences which can be resolved. However, if there are any attempts to engineer a split in the PDP like it was done in 1987 to commit robbery on people’s vote and to crush the MUF (Muslim United Front), the results will be extremely dangerous,” Mehbooba told reporters in her first public appearance here today after leaving the chief minister’s chair.

Mehbooba also recalled that the events post the 1987 Assembly elections had “created” Syed Salahuddin, the supremo of the banned Hizbul Mujahideen, and Mohammad Yasin Malik, the pro-Independence JKLF chief.

Salahuddin, who is now based in Pakistan, and whose real name is Mohammad Yousuf Shah, contested the 1987 election as MUF candidate from Amira Kadal constituency and Malik was his polling agent. However, it was alleged that the polls were rigged in favour of the National Conference-Congress coalition. Shah ended up heading the Hizbul Mujahideen militant group and Malik went on to head Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF).

“There are differences in every party like there are differences in every family and these can be addressed…

“There can be no splits without Delhi’s involvement. In 1987, the robbery on people’s vote created one Salahuddin and one Yasin Malik,” the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief said.

Mehbooba was talking to reporters at the Martyrs’ Graveyard at Naqshband Sahib (RA) shrine here after paying tributes to those killed in firing by soldiers of Dogra Maharaja Hari Singh on this day in 1931 during protests against his autocratic rule.

This was her first public appearance in the state after she resigned as chief minister.

After the government fell, several PDP legislators raised a banner of revolt against Mehbooba’s leadership and accused her of nepotism and favouritism during her tenure as chief minister.

Mehbooba’s proximity with separatists exposed: BJP

It’s like ‘agitated cat scratching the pole’: Kavinder Gupta

New Delhi/Srinagar, Jul 13: Reacting to the former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti’s warning that engineering a split in her Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) would create more militants in the state, BJP today said her statement has “exposed her proximity with separatists”.

Senior BJP leader and Union Minister of Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said Mufti with her statement was “trying to give oxygen” to militants.

“Knowing or unknowingly she has only exposed her proximity to the separatists,” the BJP leader said.

Talking to reporters in Srinagar, the PDP chief said if the central government split her party to form new government in the state, it would create more Salahuddins and Yasin Maliks — who were first to take arms after the 1987 elections were rigged.

Former Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Chief Minister and senior state BJP leader Kavinder Gupta said: “It is very unfortunate that she (Mufti) was ruling the state only a few days back as chief minister and now she threatens of a militant “uprising.”

Calling Mehbooba Mufti’s statement “irresponsible”, the Gupta asked her to apologise to the party and asserted it has never conspired to pull out of any government or split any party.

Gupta said “Kashmir is India’s crown” and his party will never play with it. He blamed the Congress for the Kashmir problem.

“It is the most irresponsible statement by her. She was disturbed after losing power and open criticism from party legislators. She should take back her words and seek an apology (from the BJP),” Gupta told reports in Jammu.

Criticising Mufti, Gupta said it was unfortunate that senior politicians were issuing “misleading statements which are hostile to the process of peace and national interests”.

He condemned her claim that the situation in Kashmir would again go back to the days of late 80s and early 90s.

“BJP never indulged in acts to pull down governments or split parties. BJP was not in power in 1987 but they were the people who were in power or their friends,” he said.

“The Congress leadership created the Kashmir problem,” he said.

On Mufti’s criticism by her own legislators, the BJP leader said it was the internal matter of the party but blaming others is like “agitated cat scratching the pole”.

“We can understand the humiliation and disturbance of her mind because of the outburst of her own legislators who have come in public against the family rule. She should sit with them and sort out the issue instead of pointing fingers on us,” he said.

He said after the BJP withdrew support, PDP legislators came out openly against Mufti for promoting “nepotism and compromising with the core issues within the government and their party”.

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