SRINAGAR: Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti said on Sunday that if the chief minister’s chair will not resolve the issues of the people, it was “better to stay with the people”.
In her half-an-hour address to PDP workers outside the party headquarters here, she praised her father and former chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s political decisions, recounted his last days of life and talked about her own resolve to make his dreams a reality.
She did not state when the government will be made, but attempted to explain why she delayed the decision to succeed her father.
“After Mufti sahab’s death, people told me I have inherited CM’s chair and should take no time to take the decision. But I did not take one… If the power of the chair (CM) does not resolve and fulfill core issues of people, the best thing to do is to stay with people,” she said.
Mehbooba has been reluctant to ascend the chair, reasoning that by and large the Agenda for Alliance, which was to guide the coalition government, has not been implemented fully. She has sought Confidence Building Measures to resume the alliance.
Mehbooba, who also launched the state-wide membership drive of PDP, justified her father’s decision of joining hands with BJP, which she herself had termed “unpopular”.
She said Mufti, throughout his political career, had gone against the tide but never taken a U-turn.
“Whatever decisions Mufti sahib took in his life, whether they proved good or bad, he stood by them. He never took a U-turn. People told him the decision to make a government with BJP will have an adverse affect on the party. He replied the only consequence will be that another party will be in power the next time. Such was the resolve of Mufti sahib,” Mehbooba said, adding Mufti’s intention was to empower the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
“Even in the hospital, he asked me if the money for flood victims has been released (by the Centre), whether the work on additional accommodation for Kashmiri Pandits at Sheikhpura had been started.”
At the end of Mehbooba’s address, a person rose from the crowd and shouted, “All your promises are fake.”
Mehbooba did not respond to him and left the podium.
When reporters, after the end of the function, asked her about the government formation, Mehbooba said, “Only time will tell.”
About JNU Afzal Guru row, Mehbooba said Amitabh Mattoo and Haseeb Drabu have been sent to Delhi to assess the situation.
“All Kashmiris are safe. No one was threatened. But students are scared. I request the government of India not to take any step which will worsen the situation in the Valley,” she said.