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Before BJP pullout, PDP MLAs gave earful to Mehbooba

Mudassir Kuloo

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Srinagar, Jun 28: Days before BJP pulled out from the coalition, at least 10 PDP MLAs had told Mehbooba Mufti that the party was losing ground in Kashmir due to the “unholy alliance” in the state.

The PDP-BJP alliance ended on June 19 after the latter withdrew its support from the coalition that was formed in 2015.

The BJP has accused Mehbooba of failing to maintain peace in the state during the three-year PDP-BJP rule.

 

A few days before the end of the alliance, around 10 MLAs had met with Mehbooba at her Gupkar residence to express their displeasure.

“The MLAs complained specifically about two office bearers of the party poking their noses into everyone’s business,” a source in know of the development said.

“We are the ones who bore the brunt of this alliance by suffering mentally as well as emotionally. Our families and workers are scared even to walk in day light,” he quoted an MLA as having told the meeting.

The MLA Tral, Mushtaq Ahmad Shah, accepted that he and nine others saw Mehbooba.

“We told her about the mistakes committed in the past and sought redress of the grievances. We apprised her about developmental and party issues,” Shah said.

The remaining nine included MLA Rafiabad Yawar Mir, MLA Wachi Aijaz Ahmad Mir, MLA Shopian Mohammad Yousuf Bhat, and MLA Kokernag Abdul Rahim Rather.

Shah said the Assembly should be dissolved and elections conducted for formation of the new government.

On the formation of alliance with the BJP, he said, “PDP had no other option. The Congress is no different than the BJP. But forming coalition with the BJP has maligned the image to the PDP.”

Another MLA from south Kashmir, Abdul Majeed Padroo, said they asked Mehbooba to strengthen the party.

“It was an unholy alliance with the BJP. The PDP will never repeat this mistake,” Padroo, who is representing Noorabad constituency, said.

The MLA Zadibal, Abid Ansari, who has been critical of several PDP leaders, said, “They (PDP founders) brought their relatives in the government and assigned them top positions in the party, while sidelining the deserving ones.”

He said the party should not repeat “the mistake of forming government with the BJP”.

Meanwhile, BJP National General Secretary, Ram Madhav, has been camping in Srinagar for the last few days.

He has met with BJP MLAs and Sajad Lone of Peoples Conference on Wednesday, and also called upon Governor, N N Vohra.

Speculations are being made about BJP trying to form the new government by way of horse trading.


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Lead Stories

Faesal to give LS polls a miss

On JKLF ban: Won’t be surprised if mainstream parties are banned too

Mudassir Kuloo

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Srinagar, Mar 23: Bureaucrat turned politician, Shah Faesal Saturday said that his newly launched party ‘Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Movement (JKPM’ won’t contest the upcoming Parliamentary polls.
Addressing a press conference at the Srinagar’s Press Club, Faesal said that his party was at an “advanced stage”.
“We decided not to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. People across the state are joining us. We don’t want to participate hurriedly in polls and instead will strengthen our party for assembly polls,” Faesal said.
Reacting over Government of India’s banning Yasin Malik’s Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, Faesal said that he won’t be surprised even if mainstream parties are banned too.
He added that banning of JKLF would “further shrink” democratic space. “I will not be surprised even if mainstream parties are too banned here. There are people who brought these forces here who wanted to change the secular fabric,” he said.
Lawyer Iqbar Tahir and journalist Chasfeeda Shah also joined the party on the occasion.
“Our decision not to contest Lok Sabha polls is a response to those who accused that our party was planted by the Centre for electoral manipulation. We are fighting for a longer run but not for government and power,” he said.
Asked which party JKPM would support in upcoming Lok Sabha polls, he replied, “We will tell you that later. Democracy is important institution and people shall participate in polls. Assembly elections are very critical for our state.”
Faesal last Sunday launched the Jammu and Kashmir People’s Movement, with a promise to “bridge the distance between New Delhi and Islamabad in order to resolve the Kashmir dispute”.
Condemning the custodial killing of Awantipora youth, Faesal demanded that those responsible for his “killing” shall be arrested. “Judicial enquiry shall also be conducted to unveil the facts,” he said.
The death of Rizwan Pandit in police custody has spawned huge shock and anger in Kashmir.
Preliminary post-mortem findings have suggested that “profuse bleeding resulting from multiple injuries” could have caused the death that triggered massive protests in Kashmir.
Faesal, who quit the services in January this year to protests against “unabated killings” in Kashmir condemned the killing of 12-year-old boy of Hajin before being held hostage. “Human rights violations have to be stopped,” he said.
He asked the politicians of South Asia to take a cue from New Zealand Prime Minister for safeguarding the rights of minorities in her country. “She has received appreciations from across the world and set up an example,” Faesal said.
New Zealand Prime Minister has expressed solidarity with Muslims after a terror attack in mosque.

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LS Polls: Mehbooba to contest from South, Aga Mohsin Srinagar

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Srinagar, Mar 23: Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Saturday announced its candidates for some Lok Sabha constituencies while as the party has decided not to field any candidate from two Jammu constituencies to ensure the votes are not divided.
Addressing a press conference, party president Mehbooba Mufti said that she will contest the upcoming parliamentary elections from South Kashmir constituency.
She added that the party has decided to field its leader Aga Mohsin from Srinagar constituency.
Notably, the party has already announced its candidate for the Baramulla constituency, Abdul Qayoom Wani who has also filed nomination papers for the polls.
Mehbooba further informed that party has decided not to announce its candidate for Jammu-Udhampur and Doda-Rajouri constituencies in the interests of people. “We don’t want the votes to get divided that would ensure the win of people other than secular forces,” she said.
She also added that the decision for Ladakh parliamentary seats will be taken soon.
About ban on JKLF, Mehbooba said that Kashmiris are once again being used as ‘scapegoats’ on the pretext of elections. “In democracy, there is battle of ideas and such kind of things should not happen. Every voice should be fought politically rather than suppression and oppression,” she added.
PDP chief further stated that people here are being pushed to the walls and violence that must come to an end at an earliest.

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Warpora encounter: Slain militant duo affiliated with JeM

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Srinagar, Mar 23: Two militants killed in over 30 hour encounter with Government forces at Warpora area of Sopore in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district have been identified as members of Jaish-e-Mohammad outfit and one of them has been identified as a local resident.
SSP Sopore Javid Iqbal was quoted saying by news agency GNS that the bodies of both the militants were recovered from the encounter site Saturday afternoon and one of them has been identified as Tahir Ahmad War alias Tahir Molvi of Warpora.
“We called his family and they identified him as their kin,” the SSP said, adding that body has been handed over to the family.
Tahir, he said, was active from June last year. The identity of other militant, believed to be a foreigner, was yet to be established.
Reports reaching here said that the residential house of Mohd Maqbool Najar, where the militants were hiding, was initially razed to rubble. During the course of the gunfight, three more residential houses of Akbar War, Ramzan War and Showkat Ahmad Najar were completely damaged.
Following the gunfight, clashes between youth and forces also reported near the encounter site and main town Sopore.
The encounter broke out at Mir Mohalla area of Warpora Sopore after a joint team of Army’s 22 RR, special operation group of police and CRPF launched a cordon and search operation in the area on Thursday morning.
Station House Officer (SHO) and his two security guards were injured near the encounter site on Friday.
Police has registered a case and initiated investigation in the gunfight.
“Incriminating materials including arms and ammunition were recovered from the site of encounter. Citizens are requested not to venture inside the encounter zone since such an area can prove dangerous due to stray explosive materials,” a spokesman of police said

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