Srinagar: Muzaffar Hussain Baig, one of the founding members of the People’s Democratic Party and Member of Parliament, has said that he has no problem in chanting ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ and believes that Mehbooba Mufti will have no objection either.
“I don’t know why it is being made into an issue. Saying Bharat Mata Ki Jai is like Madre Watan in Urdu,” he told journalist Karan Thapar during an interview on Tuesday. “I am prepared to say it in Hindi, French, Russian,” Baig said, when Thapar asked him whether he would say it in Hindi.
And when Thapar asked him if Mehbooba felt the same way, Baig said, “I am not speaking as Mehbooba’s spokesman but as Muzaffar Baig. Can’t say whether she will say it or not but I think she would not have any objection.”
Asked about Governor’s rule, Baig said that NN Vohra has set “such high standards of performance and delivery that it is a big challenge for the new government to match them”.
Cornered by Thapar over what has been called as Mehbooba’s surrender—from saying that she would not form the government till she is assured of CBMs to hastily forming with without getting anything—Baig said that she had not demanded any CBM.
“I don’t know how CBM got into circulation. It may be that the guy who writes the press releases wrote it. What she asked was for some kind of assurance that the Agenda for Alliance will not remain on paper,” said Baig who also hinted that Mehbooba had confidence issues and wanted to reassure herself too before forming the government.
“I was told by Mehboobaji that she discussed the internal and external challenges faced by India, employment and militancy, etc with Modi,” Baig said.
“But wasn’t she demanding a timeline for the delivery on the promises made in the Agenda for Alliance and Ram Madhav said the same day that she met Prime Minister Modi that she sought nothing else than his blessings,” Thapar asked. “She took Modi’s blessing as a guarantee for the timeline. She didn’t insist on a timeline because she was not the chief minister at that timeline. She has got comfort and the Centre will take up issues according to what is practical,” Baig added.
When Thapar asked him whether he was not echoing Madhav who had said that it is not constitutionally correct for the Government of India to assure a political party of anything, Baig said, “I advised her that it is not constitutionally correct.”
He also vehemently defended the alliance and dismissed the perception that PDP-BJP coalition was unpopular. “I don’t understand how this word unpopular came about. Maybe the press release writer had misunderstood what she had said. When the alliance was formed, there was no shutdown, no black flags were hoisted and even Hurriyat did not issue a statement….what needs to be done is to put a restraint on making fantastic promises,” Baig said.
“There is a sea change since when we took over in 2002. Militancy was still rampant. Today it is restricted to Pulwama district. I believe in resilience of people who know who is behind all this (militancy). I have faith in our forces. I hope intelligence becomes more effective and local police is involved,” Baig said.