Government formation: When people don’t benefit, what will I do with chair, says Mehbooba

Anantnag: Maintaining suspense over government formation in Jammu and Kashmir, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday said she will take a decision while keeping in mind the “dignity, honour and welfare” of the people of the state.
“If I take a step, it is not that I want to be a cut above. I want that if we form the government, its benefit should reach the people here,” she said addressing party workers while launching the membership drive in Anantnag district of south Kashmir.
“It is not that (I want) I will become a chief minister, there would be ministers and we will have a fleet of cars with four flags. But, when the people of the state, its youth or its regions do not reap any benefits of that (government), and when we cannot play a role in bringing peace here, then tell me what will I do with that chair,” Mehbooba said.
She said occupying chair is a matter of hours but “my agenda is the honor and dignity of people of the state’.
“You know when Indra Gandhi and Shiekh Sahab died, chairs were occupied in hours. But it is not the chair but dignity of my people that is dear to me. Governments come and go. Schemes like IAY come and go. They can fail. But the agenda of our party that people should live a dignified life should not fail,” Mehbooba told party workers.
She said whatever the decision her party will take will be in the interest of the nation.
“You trusted my father blindly and I don’t tell you to trust me the same way but with your eyes open. Whatever decision will be taken that will not be in the interest of the party workers only but the whole nation. Then whosoever says what I don’t bother. When your intentions are clear God helps you also,” Mehbooba said.
She said it took Mufti Sayeed two months to frame an agenda of alliance with BJP.
“The agenda of alliance was based on peace and development of the state, dialogue between India and Pakistan and talks with those who have a different ideology. In the agenda of alliance there was no mention that (Mehbooba) will be made chief minister,” Mehbooba told party workers. She however defended her late father’s decision to go ahead with the BJP.
“Many people opposed his decision saying ‘Congress was also an option for government formation’. But since BJP was in power in Delhi and had got a clear mandate in Jammu Mufti sahab decided to go ahead with the party to bring peace in the state,” Mehbooba said.
She said that her father represented Kashmir and its people in Delhi at a time when everybody supported Muslim United Front (MUF).
“Since he (Mufti) had returned from Aligarh and saw the making of India where everybody had a right to freedom of speech and expression. He had a full faith in Kashmiris and would clearly tell people at helm of affairs in Delhi that if you think Kashmiris are ungrateful you are mistaken,” Mehbooba said.
Jammu and Kashmir has been under Governor’s Rule since January 8, imposed a day after Mehbooba’s father and then Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed passed away suddenly.
Since then, Mehbooba, whose party is the largest with 27 MLAs in the 87-member House, has been maintaining suspense over the government formation. PDP and 25-member BJP had run a 10-month coalition government before Sayeed’s demise.