Suspension of cross-LoC trade a huge 'setback': PDP

“These are the worst days for the country”, said former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti on Friday, reacting to remarks on former Anti-Terrorist Squad chief Hemant Karkare by Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, the BJP candidate from Bhopal and an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case.

“I think these are the worst days for our country that you are giving such a choice of candidates to the people who use such language against a martyr like Hemant Karkare,” Mehbooba told reporters here.

Thakur on Friday said Karkare died during the 26/11 Mumbai militant attacks as she had cursed him for treating her badly.

Karkare, along with two other senior police officers, was killed while fighting militants during the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai in November 2008.

The BJP on Wednesday had fielded Thakur from the Bhopal parliamentary seat, where she is set to have a direct contest with the Congress heavyweight and former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijay Singh.

Mehbooba asked the BJP what the party wanted to convey to the people of the country by fielding a candidate like Thakur?

“What do you want to convey to the people by fielding in the elections a lady against whom there is a charge sheet and such grave charges and who was in jail? That whatever the lady stands for, the BJP stands for those things?” the PDP president said.

She also termed as a “huge setback” the suspension of the cross-LoC trade between India and Pakistan.

“This is a huge setback. All the work done by (former PM Atal Bihari) Vajpayee, whatever he has done, it seems that (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi wants to demolish all that. The present NDA government wants to turn upside down and demolish all of Vajpayee’s CBMs and steps whether political or others like the negotiations or dialogue with Pakistan, or dialogue in J-K and opening of routes and trade,” Mehbooba said.