February 2016 News

Can't Move Forward Unless Centre Takes Tangible CBMs: Mehbooba On Govt Formation

2 February 2016

Srinagar: Political uncertainty is set to prolong in Jammu and Kashmir with a bitter PDP today saying it 'cannot move forward' in forming government with BJP unless the Centre takes 'tangible' CBMs to address the causes of alienation and works towards a lasting solution to the state's problems. PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti, who was invited by Governor NN Vohra for consultations on government formation, told him that she would like to see the Centre take 'concrete steps' to address causes of the state's 'political uncertainty, economic disempowerment, development deficit, unfulfilled promises' before she makes any moves to form the government with BJP. Vohra, who had stepped in to break the month-long impasse, also held consultations with BJP leaders, including former Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh, who said the party will take any step only after PDP elects its Legislature Party leader and notifies the Governor about it. BJP asked the Governor for 10 days' time to 'resolve whatever is outstanding' with PDP. Mehbooba asserted that 'the Centre needs to create an environment to infuse confidence, and unless that happens, we cannot move forward.' She said, 'if a government is to be formed in the state, it (Centre) will have to take tangible measures to address the causes of alienation, trust and development deficit in Jammu and Kashmir and work towards finding a long-lasting solution to the problem plaguing the state for the past more than six decades.' In a statement tonight, she said, 'Today, it is not about the BJP and PDP. It is about what we tell the people about fulfilling Mufti Sahab's vision. We need tangible confidence building measures to be taken by the Central government to give the new government in J&K a fillip.' Displaying her bitterness towards the Modi government, she said, 'Despite having taken a huge political risk of going against the public sentiment in Kashmir by aligning with BJP, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed was virtually made to run from the pillar to post by New Delhi to get event he constitutionally-guaranteed funds for the development of the state.' She said, 'Although PDP faced various challenges in the 10 months of its alliance with BJP, unfortunately, Mufti Sahab's resolute decision was not reciprocated by the central government, the way he expected it to be.' Earlier, emerging from the meeting with Vohra, Mehbooba insisted that there are 'no differences' with BJP and that she was willing to take the coalition forward but Jammu and Kashmir needs a 'good atmosphere, space and a fillip' if a new government is to be formed as it is different from others. PDP, with 27 MLAs in the 87-member Assembly and BJP with 25 legislators, ran a coalition government headed by Mufti Sayeed for 10 months before his demise on January 7. 'I told the Governor that we want a government in the state that will actively address the plethora of problems confronting Jammu and Kashmir and for this Central government shall have to take some concrete confidence-building measures,' Mehbooba said. 'Most of the crucial political, economic and administrative issues that need immediate attention through tangible confidence-building steps, both by the state and the Central government, have already been emphasised in the 'Agenda of Alliance' and if implemented with sincerity of purpose these could to a large extent respond to the complex problems of J&K, faced as it is with decades long political uncertainty, economic disempowerment, development deficit, unfulfilled aspirations and mounting unemployment,' she said. She said her father Mufti Sayeed, without bothering about his 'political career', had aligned with Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the expectation that the Centre will bring out the state from the difficult situation it is in. 'Mufti Sahab entered into an alliance with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the hope that given the decisive mandate enjoyed by Modi, the Government of India would take effective and realistic steps to address the political, economic and administrative challenges confronting J&K to ensure lasting peace and stability in the state,' she said. 'Unfortunately instead of addressing the real challenges confronting J&K, Mufti Sahab's government was kept busy in sorting-out various contentious issues repeatedly being raised by certain quarters in and outside the state,' Mehbooba said in a clear attack on BJP. The PDP chief said, 'It was the credibility and stature of Mufti Sahab that despite facing enormous resource constraints and frequent unsettling issues during the past 10 months, he kept the things moving on the governance and development fronts and even ventured out into the areas in Kashmir, especially in Srinagar, where no mainstream politician would dare to go.' 'Want govt in state for inspiring confidence among people' Mehbooba said her party 'wants a government in Jammu and Kashmir, not for power, but for inspiring confidence among the people, about its ability to solve the multiple problems faced by the State on political, economic, administrative and financial fronts.' She said, 'Mufti Sahab's vision was not only to bring the people of various regions closer to each other, but to bridge the trust deficit between J&K and the rest of the country and he expected adequate support from the Government of India in this enterprise of hope.' Underlining that 'Jammu and Kashmir is a different state', she said, 'there are different challenges. In Jammu and Kashmir, there are several forces which need to be tackled. We need the Centre to be fully with us.' Hailing her late father for his guts, she said she does not have such an 'experience'.