Was Mehbooba govt in J&K the worst ever? Former partner of PDP, BJP, alleges so
Srinagar, June 23: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which was a part of the coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir for three years, has been trying hard to defend its decision to pull out of the BJP-PDP alliance in the state recently.
After announcing its decision to break away from the BJP-PDP alliance in the terror-ravaged state a few days ago, saffron party leader Ram Madhav said that it had become "untenable" for them to continue with chief minister Mehbooba Mufti government.
The state has been put under the Governor's rule. The Assembly has been kept under animated suspension. Now, a BJP leader and former minister of Jammu and Kashmir has called the Mehbooba government "the worst ever in the state".
Senior BJP leader Choudhary Lal Singh on Friday said the previous Mehbooba government was the "worst ever" dispensation in the state and more damage would have been caused had his party not pulled out of it.
He said the "unilateral ceasefire" announced in view of the holy month of Ramzan was the "biggest mistake" as it had allowed terrorists to regroup and had dented the morale of security forces.
"It's not good to impose governor's rule in a democratic set up. But when the situation is deteriorating by the day, it's the only option left. This (PDP-BJP) government was the worst the state has ever seen," Singh told reporters.
Hailing BJP president Amit Shah for taking the "right albeit late decision", he said, "The people were saved from the opportunistic rulers who were working on communal lines."
He accused Mehbooba of being "pro-separatist" and said she started her political career by shedding tears, a reference to her visits to meet families of slain soldiers.
"They (PDP leaders) are their (separatist) sponges. Her life started with their support," he alleged. "I am senior to her in politics and I can say with authority that she will never become chief minister again," he said.
Singh said Mehbooba Mufti ruined everything because of her inefficiency and had hurt the "soul of her father Mufti Sayeed". "I met her to demand a CBI probe into the Kathua incident, but she declined it in a bid to malign the people of Jammu," he alleged.
Singh had started a campaign across the Jammu region, demanding a CBI probe into the Kathua rape-and-murder case after he was made to resign as forest minister along with industries minister Chander Prakash Ganga in April for participating in a rally in support of the eight men arrested in the case.
He said he would meet Governor NN Vohra shortly to reiterate his demand for a CBI probe into the January incident that had triggered a massive wave of outrage across the country
On the BJP pulling out of the coalition government, he said it was right as the "anti-people PDP was trying to divide society on religious lines". "They had already thrown the Valley into the fire and had now set their eyes on Jammu, but the Dogras did not allow it to happen," he said.
Had the PDP-BJP government continued in the state, it would have caused more damage, Singh added. However, he said PDP founder Mufti Mohammad Sayeed was a visionary and a seasoned politician.
Defending the PDP-BJP combine, Singh said, "Mufti Mohammad Sayeed stitched the alliance keeping in mind the mandate given by the people to the two parties. But Mehbooba proved incompetent and failed to do justice to the different regions."
"We are children of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. But his party played wrong politics (after his demise). It was time to wipe away the tears of people, but the PDP ruined it. The brotherhood and communal harmony which we are proud of is under threat," he alleged.
He trashed Mehbooba's statement that she had handled the Kathua case appropriately, saying the incident was a glaring example of the mistakes under her rule.
"If terrorism recorded a growth it was because of the soft approach she adopted," Singh alleged. The BJP leader said the situation would not have turned worse had there been an efficient opposition in the state.
"The government made mistakes because of the weak opposition, whose leaders were busy only on Twitter," he said.
Singh also said the suspension of anti-terror operations during Ramzan was the biggest mistake "as it allowed the terrorists to regroup and dented the morale of security forces".
"They took a stand on the ceasefire and talked to the Centre, which unwillingly accepted it in view of the holy month of Ramzan. The chief minister's stand was a big mistake. Not only Jammu bore the brunt of it, militancy got strengthened and spread to every nook and corner of the valley."
On Mehbooba's remark that a muscular policy was not the answer to the Kashmir problem, he said, "Muscle power is not meant for common people but for those who are anti-national, chant pro-Pakistan slogans and use guns and grenades to kill innocent persons."
National Conference (NC) leader Omar Abdullah has been demanding to dissolve the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly to avoid "horse-trading". The former CM feels that the BJP might try to buy MLAs from both the PDP and the NC to come to power in the state again.