I Chose BJP For The Sake Of J&K: Mufti

5 April 2015
Rising Kashmir
Junaid Kathju

Gulmarg: Chief Minister, Mufti Muhammad Sayeed Sunday said he entered into an alliance with Bharatiya Janta Party for the benefit of people of Jammu and Kashmir even as he had other options to choose from. 'I had many options to choose from. Congress President Sonia Gandhi approached me first followed by National Conference but the only reason I chose to go with Bhartiya Janta Party was for the sake of people to bring prosperity and peace in the state,' Mufti said at a tourism conclave held at Khyber Himalayan Resorts, Gulmarg. Keeping in view the mandate that BJP managed to achieve at Centre, he said it was the best option for Jammu and Kashmir. 'It took me two months to deliberate to reach a Common Minimum Programme. I saw the opportunity of growth with BJP and decided to join it,' Mufti said. He said it is necessary that all the three regions of the state work together for its growth and prosperity. 'Being in the same state we have failed even to connect with Jammu, how can we relate to India. This BJP-PDP alliance is a window of opportunity to overcome our differences and write a new chapter of prosperity,' said Mufti. Mufti said as a chief minister he wants to give the state something new 'that would be penned down in history books'. 'I don't want to be just another CM but someone who would leave a legacy of prosperity and peace in the state,' he said. Mufti said he has seen many hardships in his political career but serving people of Kashmir kept him going. 'Like many Kashmiris I too have suffered. My maternal uncle was killed and my family had to migrate to Jammu in the uprising. When I was a Union Home Minister the episode of Jagmohan happened but despite all odds I kept going,' he said. 'People will see in the next six years of the PDP-BJP government unfolding of the dream to convert J&K into a cherished tourist destination having achieved global benchmarks in all defined categories,' Mufti added. The chief minister urged tourism players to invest in the hospitality sector in public-private partnership (PPP) mode to attract high-end tourism. 'We have only few properties here which cater to high-end tourism. This is a good step that big brands like Radisson and ITC are investing in Kashmir,' said Mufti while referring to the tie-up between Mushtaq Group of Hotels and renowned international hotel chain Radisson Hotels. Mufti said his government will clear proposals for building infrastructure for elite tourism through single window clearance. 'We will have single and short window to clear projects in a time-bound manner under one roof so that high-end infrastructure is developed in the state,' he added. Talking about the recent flood threat in Kashmir, Mufti said state government was proactive and took all necessary measures to deal with the situation. 'The administration was on ground and ready to face any harsh situation. There was no need to worry,' he said, adding, 'Media should also play a positive role by depicting the reality and not blow the situation out of proportion.'