Congress, BJP are one when it comes to 'national interest': Mehbooba

The Peoples Democratic Party President Mehbooba Mufti said on Sunday that “national interests have been of paramount importance for both Congress and BJP when it comes to Kashmir”.

Talking to reporters here on the sidelines of a party function, Mehbooba said “just like scrapping Article 370 has been a major poll plank of the BJP, the Congress has also played the Kashmir card for electoral gains in the past”.

“It was GhulamNabi Azad who transferred land to Amarnath Shrine Board in 2008 to please the party’s vote bank in Jammu,” she alleged.

“Later, it was Congress-led government which executed Muhammad Afzal Guru out of turn, just when the national elections were round the corner,” Mehbooba said.

She claimed that only the regional parties like the PDP have an “agenda” to “bring the people out of morass”.

Urging people to vote for her in the upcoming parliament elections—she is contesting from Anatnang—Mehbooba said that people of southern Kashmir have been “wise enough in choosing their representatives”.

Earlier, addressing series of election meetings in Kapran-Dooru and Larnoo-Kokernag areas of the Anantnag parliamentary constituency, which is going to polls on Tuesday, the PDP President said: “People of Kashmir would still have been in bonded labour if I would not have risen to the occasion two decades back”.

“If I would not have worked on the ground to save Kashmiris from the oppression of the Army and Task Force, you would still have been in bonded labour,” Mehbooba said, reacting to those who question her party’s rule in Jammu and Kashmir.

Mehbooba claimed that it was because of the efforts of her father Mufti Muhammad Sayeed that revocation of POTA (Prevention of Terrorism Act), disbanding of Ikhwan and start of cross-LoC travel and trade were made possible.

“Mufti Sayeed pursued pro-people policies and released political prisoners like Syed Ali Shah Geelani, who were languishing in jails outside the state,” Mehbooba said.

“In the 2014 elections, my father had sought 40 seats from you, but you only gave him 28, while the BJP got 25. This left him with no option than to join hands with the BJP for the larger interests of the people. But Prime Minster NarendraModi did not emulate AtalBihari Vajpayee and let us down,” she said.

“We ensured rehabilitation of Gujjar community in Jammu region, sacked two BJP ministers for their alleged role in Rasana rape case and also ensured safeguarding Articles 370 and 35 A,” the PDP president said.