NC Left Us with No Option Other Than to Contest All LS Seats in Kashmir: Mehbooba – News18


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Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti. (PTI file photo)

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti. (PTI file photo)

Mufti said the need of the hour for the political parties in Jammu and Kashmir was to remain united after the Centre revoked the erstwhile state’s special status in August 2019.

POlicMehbooba Mufti on Wednesday said INDIA bloc partner National Conference has left the PDP with no other option other than to contest the election on the three Lok Sabha seats in Kashmir. The NC recently announced it would field its candidates on all three seats. The NC left two seats in Jammu for the Congress as part of the INDIA bloc’s seat-sharing agreement.

”They (NC) have left no option for us other than to field candidates and contest the elections,” Mufti, the chief of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), told reporters here. The party’s Parliamentary Board would take a final call on the candidates, she added.

Mufti said the need of the hour for the political parties in Jammu and Kashmir was to remain united after the Centre revoked the erstwhile state’s special status in August 2019. ”Youth are in jails, we cannot raise our voices, even the family members of employees cannot say anything. There is an atmosphere of oppression here. So, in such an atmosphere, it is imperative for us to stand united,” she said.

The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister, however, said the attitude of the NC leadership was disappointing and hurtful. ”When the INDI alliance’s meeting took place in Mumbai, I said there that since (NC president) Farooq Abdullah is our senior leader, he will take a decision (on seat sharing) and will do justice. I had hoped he would keep the party interests aside, she said.

But the NC took the decision to contest all three seats in Kashmir unilaterally, she added. Mufti said if the NC had approached her and consulted the PDP before announcing the decision, her party could have decided not to field candidates in the larger interests of Kashmir.

”If they had to take the same decision, if they thought that they had a better voice than the PDP to raise the issues of the people of Kashmir, then they should have told me two months ago that they wanted to contest themselves and told me not to field candidates, then perhaps for the larger interests, we would not have contested,” she said. ”But, the way (NC vice president) Omar (Abdullah) announced the decision without taking us into confidence, and by saying that PDP has no workers or support so they will not get a single seat, it hurt my workers and broke their hearts, she added.

She was referring to Omar Abdullah’s March 8 press conference in which he announced that the NC would contest from all three seats in the valley and not leave any for its INDIA bloc partner the PDP. ”The way Omar spoke was very disappointing, that was an insult not to me, but to my workers. So, how can I tell my workers to support NC? It is not easy. We will field candidates and leave it up to the people. The people are the better judge to see which voices they want in the Parliament, the PDP president said.

She said consultations within the party were on and the PDP’s parliamentary board will take a decision in a few days.

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(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)

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