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Jammu is worst victim of BJP’s political gimmick: Mufti

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Jammu: PDP president Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday said Jammu is the worst victim of BJP’s political gimmick, alleging that the saffron party is surrendering interests of people from the region to benefit big corporate houses.

She also said her party risked its political interests to honour aspirations of the people of Jammu region who had given a huge mandate to the right wing party in the 2014 Assembly elections.

The former chief minister reiterated her party’s stand that integration of the two regions of Kashmir and Jammu was the essence of development and prosperity of Jammu and Kashmir.

“Jammu, once considered as the economic hub of the erstwhile state, is the worst victim of BJP’s political gimmick. People in Kashmir always suspected the intentions of BJP but Jammu gave a huge mandate to the party (in 2014 Assembly polls) on the assurances of political and economic empowerment,” Mufti said while addressing a meeting of senior party leaders here.

Accusing the BJP of indulging in “divisive and deceitful” politics, Mufti said the saffron party is surrendering interests of people to benefit big corporate houses of the country. 

“From economy to cultural identity, BJP has looted Jammu of everything which it was once proud of. Today big corporate houses from across the country have deep penetration into Jammu, unemployment rate is alarming, developmental growth is at standstill while even the militancy has spilled over to the region,” she said. 

Mufti said Kashmir and Jammu are interdependent with each other and PDP has always tried to be the bridge between the people on both sides.

“(PDP patron) Mufti Muhammad Sayed even risked political interests of his party to honour aspirations of Jammu region, which had given a huge mandate to the right wing party in previous assembly elections,” she said referring to the PDP forming the government in alliance with BJP.

In the 2014 J&K Assembly elections, the PDP had won 28 seats, the BJP got 25 seats, the National Conference 15 and the Congress 12. 

On March 01, 2015, Sayeed took oath as the chief minister of the PDP-BJP combine. After the death of Sayeed in 2016, Mehbooba Mufti became the chief minister. However, the three-year-old coalition government collapsed on June 19, 2018 after the BJP pulled out of the alliance.

“Unfortunately, Jammu region is at the crossroads due to this deceitful politics of BJP, which called itself to be the champion of Jammu,” she said.

The PDP chief asked her party leaders to intensify public outreach programmes across the region.

“You will have to be at the forefront to be the voice and strength of people who are suffering due to official apathy,” she told the party leaders.

Mufti said the problems of Jammu are not less than those faced by Kashmir. “The youth of Jammu are also falling prey to drug addiction and unemployment is on the rise. The recruitment scams came to light but no action was taken against those holding higher positions,” she said.

Referring to the terror attack in Dhangri village of Rajouri on the New Year Day, she said the incident happened when the BJP is claiming that the security situation has improved after the abrogation of Article 370.


PDP chief urges Ladakhi leaders to stand with J&K 

Srinagar, Jan 10: People’s Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday urged Ladakhis to stand with the people of Jammu and Kashmir for a collective struggle to safeguard their unique identities and interests.

The former chief minister was reacting to reports that Ladakhi leaders had unanimously opted out of the high-powered committee formed by the Union Home Ministry to address their demands, which include granting statehood to Ladakh.

“Urge my Ladakhi brothers & sisters to stand with us in our collective fight & struggle for safeguarding our unique identity & interests. For the past three years, a vicious propaganda has been unleashed to create fissures between J&K & Ladakh,” Mufti said in a series of tweets.

“Relieved that people of Ladakh finally realise that their interests & identity can be saved only if they unite with J&K. They’ve finally called off GOIs bluff & disinterest in granting them statehood & protecting their resources.

“It’s time we recognise that our struggle will reap dividends only if we stand united,” she added. 

Mufti said the decision of Ladakhi leaders to stay away from the panel did not augur well for the Centre as it went against the claim that scrapping Jammu and Kashmir’s special status was acceptable to people of the erstwhile state.

“This certainly doesn’t bode well for GOI, especially amidst a border standoff with China & also demolishes their lies that 5th August was beneficial or acceptable for people of J&K including Ladakh,” she said.