SRINAGAR, May 11: National Conference on Wednesday said PDP’s self-contradictory statements and flip-flopping on the Sainik Colony issue indicated ulterior motives that the party might have on a larger canvas with respect to the political rights and status of the State.
National Conference Spokesperson Junaid Azim Mattu said Government Spokesperson Naeem Akhtar and the PDP-BJP Government should first decide if the demand from State-subject ex-servicemen for allotment of land in a ‘Sainik Colony’ is just and legitimate – as stated by the party earlier or if this is a ‘controversial demand’ as stated by them now.
“PDP’s very existence is a threat to the State’s special status – as we have seen in the previous year and a half. PDP is nothing more than BJP’s Trojan Horse put in place to weaken the State’s special constitutional status – and hence every such move that comes from them has the potential of being a ruse to harm Article 370”, the NC Spokesperson said.
“Naeem Akhtar seems to have developed a bad habit of resorting to lies and fabrications or quoting things out of context to justify his party’s complete sell-out to the BJP. That is when he as the Education Minister isn’t busy violating guidelines by taking selfies in Government Schools where use of mobile phones is prohibited. It is evident that he has been delegated the apologetic responsibility of justifying the morally unjustifiable – a cost he has to understandably bear for being a constituency-less, unelected Cabinet Minister foisted on elected representatives within his own party. We clearly remember when he would valiantly deny PDP’s nexus with the BJP just days before the PDP-BJP alliance came into being formally”, the NC Spokesperson stated.
NC Spokesperson said it was a fact that the present PDP-BJP Government was considering to manipulate the ‘Sainik Colony’ allocation meant for State-subjects to clandestinely extend a favour to its alliance partner to settle non-State subjects in the Valley. “BJP has gone on record to suggest that the proposed ‘Sainik Colony’ would be akin to ‘planting saffron in the Valley’. BJP MP Tarun Vijay while speaking to Economic Times has said he has full faith in Mehbooba Mufti, who he claims to be a good friend and that he trusts her on the Sainik Colony plan. And that BJP believes Mehbooba Mufti ‘can do it and set up the cities not only colonies for Sainiks’. Tarun Vijay has also said that he and his party believe that Sainik Colonies will be like planting saffron and Tulip in a strife torn land where these colonies will be fragrances of ‘Indianness’. This again exposes Mehbooba Mufti and PDP”, the NC Spokesperson added.
Naeem Akhtar’s sense of righteousness is misplaced – covering-up his party’s obedience to the BJP isn’t an indication of his morality – but the complete lack of it”, the NC Spokesperson added.
“Recently BJP MLA from Jammu Ravinder Raina has said there is nothing wrong with the plan of settling non-State-subject ex-servicemen in the Valley. This is a clear proof that Mehbooba Mufti and her Government were actively considering finding a constitutionally illegitimate way to advance this ulterior motive by manipulating and exploiting the existing demand of State-subject ex-servicemen. Naeem Akhtar should know that this PDP-BJP Government has stooped so low for power that people expect it to go to any extent to appease the RSS – even the incomprehensible thought of irreversible harm being inflicted on Article 370 – something that Late Mufti Sahab crafted an entire political career from”, the NC Spokesperson added.
“The previous NC-Congress Government led by Omar Abdullah never allowed the State’s special status to be called into question. A ‘Sainik Colony’ proposal by Rajya Sainik Board headed by the Governor meant for State-subject ex-servicemen is not the same as PDP-BJP Alliance using this demand to further their own ulterior political agenda – as has been proven beyond any doubt by statements issued by BJP MP Tarun Vijay who claimed to be Mehbooba Mufti’s personal friend and BJP MLA from Jammu, Ravinder Raina. We – along with civil society groups – sought clarifications from the State Government on this issue after BJP leaders as well as legislators from J&K publically stated that the proposed ‘Sainik Colony’ should be open to non State-Subject ex-servicemen too. Rather than confronting its alliance partner, PDP has given Naeem Akhtar the responsibility of lying on their behalf – which is a tragic and pathetic”, the NC Spokesperson added.
“PDP’s very existence is a direct threat to the State’s special status and the State Subject laws. History bears witness to how pliant regimes and political leaders including Late Mufti Sahab played active roles in furthering the agenda of diluting Article 370 while National Conference chose incarcerations and struggle over the spoils of power. They have harmed the State for their personal political ambitions in the past and they can do it again for the slightest incentive of power. That is the reality of PDP and that is their rootstock. So, Naeem Akhtar shouldn’t be surprised why his party is abhorred by the people of the State today”, the NC Spokesperson said.