Majid Kapra

Governor encroaching on democratic spaces: Mehbooba

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Warns against fiddling with J&K's constitutional status; threatens agitation

                             Photo/Javed Khan

Srinagar, Dec 07: Accusing Governor Satya Pal Malik of trespassing into the democratic space here through his “hasty decisions” which are against the “interests of the people”, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president, Mehbooba Mufti Friday said there should be no meddling with the constitutional status of Jammu and Kashmir till a popular government takes over.

Mehbooba said there seemed to a “hidden agenda” behind the “hasty decisions” to treat Jammu and Kashmir Bank as a PSU, changing procedures of state subject rules, revoking Roshni scheme and reports of changing Juvenile (Justice) Act.

“We respect the governor (S P Malik), (but) why is he encroaching on the democratic space? There is no emergency on these issues. They can happen after elections when a new government is formed. It seems that there is perhaps someone’s hidden agenda, which I hope the governor will not be a part of… There should be no fiddling with the constitutional status of the state,” Mehbooba told reporters here.

Apparently referring to the Governor’s flip-flops on many decisions, Mufti said, “Unfortunately, the governor’s team does not advise him well, otherwise they would not have taken such decisions which have to be revoked later. Such decisions should be left to a popular government.”

She said the decisions taken by the Governor over the past sometime have, except for few, left every political party worried here.

The former chief minister said so many decisions have been taken or orders have been passed since the Governor’s rule was imposed in the state, which are against the interests of Jammu and Kashmir.

“We were hopeful that the governor, who was a politician, would understand the sensitivities of J&K and will be cautious rather over cautious, but, unfortunately, every day one or the other order comes out which creates insecurity among the people,” she said.

“People keep coming and going during elections, but I regret about Drabu Saheb, who was brought by Mufti Saheb into the party with hope and love. Anyways it’s his choice, I wish him all the best.”

The PDP president also warned of an agitation if the State administration, headed by Malik, accords divisional status to Ladakh region, while ignoring Pir Panjal and Chenab valley.

“There are reports that the governor’s administration will accord a divisional status to Ladakh. We are not against it. I request the governor and I hope all parties like the National Conference, Congress and others come together on this and demand that if you are giving Ladakh a divisional status, then Pir Panjal and Chenab Valley should also get it.”

“If the governor decides to grant divisional status to Ladakh, then Chenab valley and Pir Panjal should also get it, otherwise we will be forced to agitate peacefully, and I will talk to other parties also on this,” Mehbooba said.

The PDP president said like Ladakh, Pir Panjal and Chenab valley are also far-flung areas of the state and such a decision could establish good governance in these areas as well.

Asked about former finance minister Haseeb Drabu quitting the PDP, Mehbooba said people come and go at the time of elections.

“Look people keep coming and going during elections, but I regret about Drabu Saheb, who was brought by Mufti Saheb into the party with hope and love. Anyways it’s his choice, I wish him all the best” she said.

Replying to another query about her party’s boycott of the ULB and Panchayat elections, she said, “Elections keep on happening, and so far as our election boycott decision is concerned, ULB and Panchayat polls were linked with Article 35-A.”




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