January 2016 News

Mufti's Decision To Align With BJP Was Courageous, But Unpopular: Mehbooba

31 January 2016
The Daily Excelsior
Fayaz Bukhari

Srinagar: Uncertainty grew over Government formation today with a tough-talking PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti saying she will take a call after 'reassessing' whether ally BJP's Government at the Centre would take substantive steps in a 'set timeframe' to address the 'core' political and economic issues of the State. Mehbooba, who is seen as the successor to her late father as Chief Minister, told a four-hour long meeting with party leaders, including MPs, MLAs, zonal presidents and block presidents, that Mufti Sayeed had taken 'a courageous, although unpopular, decision of aligning with BJP with the hope that Narendra Modi at the Centre will take decisive measures to address the core political and economic issues concerning Jammu and Kashmir and its people.' However, 'instead of partnering with and implementing Sayeed's vision of bringing peace, stability and prosperity to J-K, certain quarters, both within the State and in New Delhi, started overtly and covertly triggering frequent controversies over avoidable contentious issues resulting in wastage of the State Government's energies in firefighting and propitiation,' she said, slamming the ally. 'In such violative circumstances around, the party will have to reassess whether we can absorb the shocks which Sayeed had to do so frequently in his effort to forge reconciliation between the regions and the people of the State,' she said. The PDP chief, who has called the much-awaited meeting of Legislature Party here tomorrow at 2 pm, said during the 10-month coalition Government headed by her late father, 'there was little movement forward on implementation of political and economic initiatives. 'Instead there were some recurrent unsettling developments which led to lack of congenial atmosphere and had a negative impact even on the good work done on the governance front.' She underlined that 'The Government of India shall have to take substantive measures towards implementation of the PDP-BJP 'Agenda of Alliance' in the interest of peace and stability in J-K and for this PDP needs a set timeframe to be worked out.' Mehbooba, who has already been authorized by the party to take a decision on Government formation, told the meeting today that she is 'ready to take a call on it once she is convinced that the purpose and the objective of the alliance that Mufti had forged with Prime Minister Narendra Modi' would be taken to its logical conclusion. Underlining that the 'purpose' of the alliance was 'not limited' to Government formation but to take the State 'out of the trouble that it has faced for most part of its history,' she said, 'The PDP will have to reassess whether the Central Government is ready to trust the people of Jammu and Kashmir and carry out implementation of 'Agenda of Alliance' with sincerity of purpose.' Mehbooba said that the 'Agenda of Alliance' makes it clear that the present position will be maintained on all the Constitutional provisions pertaining to the State including the special status in the Constitution of India. She said that the Agenda states that it will seeks support and strengthen the approach and initiatives taken by the Government to create a reconciliatory environment and build stakes for all in the peace and development within the sub-continent including normalization of relations with Pakistan. The PDP president said that while real progress was made during the past 10 months towards the implementation of good-governance practices listed in the 'Agenda of Alliance', there was little movement forward on implementation of political and economic initiatives. Mehbooba said that some recurrent unsettling developments took place that led to lack of congenial atmosphere which had a negative impact even on the good work done on the governance front. She said the PDP-BJP Government, under the leadership of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, performed extraordinarily and took some pioneering developmental and welfare initiatives but these could not make a mark among the people because of these unsettling issues were raised by certain quarters repeatedly. The PDP president said that Mufti Sahab worked tirelessly and tried his best to carry everybody along and bring some relief to the people on the governance front despite the controversies. She said his hard work ultimately took a heavy toll on his health and then death. In her address Mehbooba said: 'We hope Central Government will take concrete measures towards the implementation of 'Agenda of Alliance' in the interest of peace and stability of the State and the region.' She said that more than a Government, the State today needs the political will and statesmanship to pull it out of the morass, which no Government in the State could do amid recurrent rumblings over the issues. Soon after the meeting was over, the PDP spokesman and senior leader, Naeem Akhtar, told reporters that Mehbooba Mufti is ready to take a call on Government formation once she is convinced that the agenda that has been set by Mufti sahib in alliance with the other party can be taken forward to its logical conclusion. 'The basic objective of the meeting was to discuss party affairs and how we can take forward Mufti Mohammad Sayeed's mission on peace and development. Agenda was this and then later we also discussed Government formation. It became inevitable to discuss that in view of ideas and view expressed by various leaders. Ultimately the meeting was told by the party president Mehbooba Mufti, who was already been authorized by the party to take a decision on this direction, that she is ready to take the call once she is convinced that the purpose and objective of the alliance that Mufti Sahib had forged along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi Ji is fulfilled', said Akhtar. 'The purpose of alliance was not limited to Government formation but it was to take Jammu and Kashmir out of trouble it has faced for most part of its history. And that alliance for Mufti Sahib was based on trust and the belief that it will translate into relief for the people of Jammu and Kashmir and which ultimately will serve the national interest. And also bring peace into the sub-continent between India and Pakistan and this is why he always spoke Indo-Pak relations even on his death bed', said PDP leader. Akhtar said: 'Mehbooba will take a call on the basis of the Agenda of Alliance' once she is convinced and the party is convinced that trust reposed by us on the entire country through that document is reciprocated.' The PDP leader said that once Mehbooba is convinced that agenda of alliance will be implemented in letter and spirit, the Government formation will not take time. 'Once country believes in us and they repose trust in us and we can carry forward the agenda which has strong political side to it, which has economic side to it and we are able to carry it forward, the Government formation will not take time', he said.

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