Srinaga: Criticising the ongoing anti-encroachment drive, PDP president Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday accused the BJP-led Centre of using Jammu and Kashmir to divert attention of the country from pressing issues such as unemployment and the Adani row.
“To divert the attention from the Adani issue and the damage it has done to the economy of the country, they (BJP) don’t get anything better than Jammu and Kashmir, like demolition drive,” Mehbooba told reporters here.
Asked about Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s comments about the restoration of statehood to Jammu and Kashmir, the former chief minister said, “They do not make statements, they make jumlas.”
“He himself said the promises of two crore jobs and Rs 15 lakh in every bank account were election jumla (rhetoric),” she said.
Mehbooba said Shah was the first home minister in the history of independent India who turned a state into a Union territory.
On the demolition drive, she said the BJP earlier used to brand the people of Jammu and Kashmir as anti-nationals but has now started labelling them as encroachers.
“Land in JK belongs to the people of JK. I urge the people to take control of their land, be it through mohalla committees or panchayats…. Earlier they used to call us anti-nationals, now it is encroachers. We are not encroachers,” she said.
The PDP president alleged that the administration was carrying out anti-people measures to keep people “so busy that they don’t have time to think about anything else”.
“But they should realise that there is a sentiment here … people want to resolve the issue on the terms of equality. You cannot jail that sentiment,” she said.
Asked if her party’s alliance with the BJP after the 2014 assembly elections was a mistake, Mehbooba said her father took the decision after carefully considering it.
“My father took a very well thought-out decision. He wanted to prevent this situation. Till we had a coalition government, nothing like this had happened. After the government fell, they repealed Article 370 and took other steps,” she said.
The PDP president said people can criticise her as they have a right to do so.
On the proposal to make Hindi language compulsory in all schools in Jammu and Kashmir, she said the Centre should try this in southern India first.
“They are not able to do anything in the south but in Jammu and Kashmir they are doing everything…. They have silenced the people. We have nothing against Hindi but our language is Urdu. If they have the courage, let them do it in the south first,” she added.
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