National Conference on Saturday said that Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti owed an apology to the people of Kashmir for demonizing and defaming them through her contemptuous and highly inappropriate “cats and pigeons” analogy while speaking on the Kashmiri Pandit rehabilitation issue in the Legislative Assembly.
“CM Mehbooba Mufti has defamed and demonized Kashmiris by inferring that Kashmiris are allegedly some sort of killers and hunters and Kashmiri Pandits are unsafe in their company and hence need to be isolated from them. It’s tragic that a Chief Minister could stoop to this level in her maiden address in the Assembly”, NC Spokesperson Junaid Mattu said in a statement issued from Party Headquarters.
“Mehbooba Mufti should know that her ‘hunted versus hunter’ analogy has exposed her mindset and also her prejudiced outlook on this very sensitive issue. She has portrayed Kashmiris as hunters and killers from whom apparently Kashmiri Pandits need to be protected. She should apologize to the people for her remarks and also bear in mind that she is no longer an election campaigner who can afford to distort the truth and lie at will. She is the Chief Minister of this State and we expect a basic amount of wisdom and restraint from her. Mehbooba Mufti should know that both Kashmiri Muslims as well as Kashmiri Pandits have been the victims of violence and she cannot portray an entire community as culprits and demons. This is extremely regrettable and tragic,” Junaid Mattu added.
NC Spokesperson said the Chief Minister’s speech in the Legislative Assembly was bizarre, wayward and contained misplaced analogies and distortions. “She didn’t answer why the people of this State are constantly reeling under an existential threat to their constitutional special status and demographic character under her Government but rather chose to vacillate on these crucial questions. Fact remains that this State’s special status, its demographic character and its political rights have all come under open, blatant assault under this Government and Mehbooba Mufti and her party have chosen to be accomplices in these intrigues instead of defending the State’s honour”, the NC Spokesperson said.
“The Chief Minister lied on the floor of the house about the ‘Smart Cities’ status for Srinagar and Jammu when she wrongly claimed that they had been included in the initiative. As pointed out by the NC Working President in the Assembly, the two cities have only been proposed and will now go into the bidding phase. Rather than lying about these make-belief, imaginary initiatives from her alliance partner’s Government in New Delhi, Mehbooba Mufti should have explained what became of the CBMs she has sought as a pre-requisite to Government formation in the State”, the NC Spokesperson added.
NC Spokesperson questioned the conspicuous absence of PDP’s ‘Self Rule’ vision document in the Chief Minister’s maiden speech in the Legislative Assembly and said it was now formally proven that PDP had abandoned its flagship vision document and ideology for political expedience and power.
“While in opposition PDP leaders including Mehbooba Mufti spoke about their ‘Self Rule’ document and about initiatives like ‘dual currency’ and ‘open borders’ but today they are petrified to even whisper these phrases and risk being ditched by the BJP. Their rebellious rhetoric and slogans have been replaced by their total and complete obedience to the RSS – and the Chief Minister’s speech goes on to prove that”, the NC Spokesperson further stated.
“Mehbooba Mufti’s bizarre justification that she tied up with BJP to prevent another 1987-like situation is ridiculous and ironic. The Chief Minister would be well served to remember that her party’s founder and former Chief Minister Late Mufti Sayeed Sahab was the face of the Congress Party in the State during that period in history. By inferring that in some way the political turmoil or instability was a derivative of 1987, she is first and foremost blaming Late Mufti Sahab. It doesn’t suit a Chief Minister to distort history. PDP tied up with the BJP to first make Late Mufti Sahab and then Mehbooba Mufti the Chief Ministers of this State – everything else is a guilt-laden, ridiculous excuse to conceal a brazen political sell-out”, the NC Spokesperson added while responding to the Chief Minister’s speech.
NC Spokesperson also reminded Mehbooba Mufti that Sher-e-Kashmir Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah stood for the principles of a democratic and socialist Indian Republic and believed that India’s secularism was the best option for the State, its people and their future. “Today Mehbooba Mufti has tied up with the political heirs of Shyama Prasad Mukherjee – the same man who led the first assault on the State’s special status and its State Subject Laws. Her alliance with BJP cannot be compared to Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah’s identification with the principles of secularism and democracy that the very idea of India exemplified. We understand her desperation to conceal her guilt by trying to mislead the people through inaccurate and bizarre, misplaced comparisons and we suggest she tries to gain a more rational, nuanced understanding of contemporary history before compiling her speeches”, the NC Spokesperson further added.
“On the issue of NFSA, Mehbooba Mufti again went down the all-too-familiar path of deflection of her own responsibilities and that of her government. The previous State Government had categorically disallowed the extension of NFSA to J&K by highlighting how the State stood at a grave disadvantage because of the Act. Why wasn’t NFSA extended to J&K during the tenure of the previous Government? The question pertinent and relevant to the people of Kashmir is why the PDP-BJP Government facilitated the extension of NFSA to J&K. Which Central Government envisioned the Act is irrelevant as far as our people are concerned. The previous Omar Abdullah-led Government protected the interests of our people and the PDP-BJP Government of Late Mufti Sahab appeased the Central Government and the BJP by extending the Act to the State in haste – the repercussions of which are being seen now”, the NC Spokesperson said.
NC Spokesperson lashed out at the Chief Minister for drawing shockingly outrageous and absurd comparisons to hide her Government’s failure to prevent the extension of NEET into the State. “This is a matter of constitutional propriety – a concept that seems too complicated for the Chief Minister to understand if not appreciate. This is not a question of how bright our students are – and there is no doubt about their capabilities and mettle. This is a matter of the State’s special status given how education is an area that falls in the State List as far as J&K is concerned. How does this situation equate to the situation in Palestine? How can an elected Chief Minister make such absurd, senseless comparisons on the floor of the Assembly? The IAS examination is a Central, National examination for entry into the Civil Services and our State will continue to churn out toppers in the civil services examinations. This however has no relation to the issue of NEET. The Mehbooba Mufti Government had itself moved the Supreme Court opposing the extension of NEET to J&K citing the State’s special status – and rightly so. Now suddenly Mehbooba Mufti sees nothing wrong in the violation of the State’s special status by NEET? Was she lying when her Government approached the Supreme Court or is she lying now? This is ridiculous coming from a Chief Minister”, the NC Spokesperson stated.