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Mehbooba takes swipe at Jaitley’s ‘separatist psyche’ comment

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Srinagar, Apr 03: Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti said on Wednesday that the relation of Jammu and Kashmir with India will end if the terms and conditions of the state’s accession to the Union were changed.

“2020 will also be a deadline from Jammu and Kashmir to the nation. If you remove those terms and conditions on which Jammu and Kashmir acceded to India, our relation with the country will also end,” Mehbooba told reporters after filing her nomination papers from the Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency.

The former chief minister was responding to BJP president Amit Shah’s assertion that Article 35-A, which guarantees special status to Jammu and Kashmir in terms of residency rights, will be repealed by 2020.

On the Congress manifesto, Mehboba said it was word by word same as the “Agenda of Alliance” agreed upon between her father Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and the BJP at the time of government formation in Jammu and Kashmir in 2015.

“Congress manifesto is same as what Mufti Mohammad Sayeed kept in ‘Agenda of Alliance’ with BJP…status quo on Article 370, revocation of AFSPA, holding dialogue and reducing army footprint from civilian areas. It is word by word the same thing,” she asserted.

Meanwhile, reacting to Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s remarks that statements of mainstream parties in Kashmir create “separatist psyche” and were “not acceptable to new India”, Mehbooba, in a tweet, said if standing up for the people made her a separatist and anti-national, she would wear such a badge with honour.

“Unacceptable is a new India where those who kill and lynch in the name of religion are feted and garlanded. If standing up for my people makes me a separatist and anti national, then it’s a badge I will wear with honour,” she said.

Taking on National Conference leader Omar Abdullah, Jaitley on Monday said his demand for revival of the post of prime minister and president in J&K was intended to create a “separatist psyche” and asserted that new India would never allow any government to commit such blunders.

Mehbooba also hit out at Karan Singh over his remarks on Article 370.

“Karan Singh’s father Maharaja Hari Singh had himself laid the foundation of Article 370. Today, he is singing a different tune,” Mehbooba was quoted by local news gathering agency GNS.

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