Srinagar: Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Mehbooba Muti addressing party workers rally,in Srinagar on Sunday,03 June 2018. PTI Photo by Umar Ganie
Srinagar, July 20: People’s Democratic Party (PDP) president and former J&K Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, has alleged that National Investigation Agency (NIA) was used as a threat against her party MLAs, who chose loyalty over money and ministerial berths. Mehbooba, in a recently filmed interview to News 18, claimed that a “perception” was being “created” in Kashmir that after August 15, a government would be formed here. “How would it be formed? Only by breaking PDP! If you are trying to break PDP, you are repeating 1987,” she said, while answering the question on her recent ‘break-PDP-and-witness-creation-of-more-Salahuddins- and-Maliks’ statement. Although she refused to name any particular PDP leader, Mehbooba alleged that many legislators, whom she met, told her that they were being “threatened with NIA” if they did not break away from the party. “When they declared their support to PDP and refused to give in, they were threatened by: ‘koi baat nahi hamare paas NIA hai’ (We do have NIA with us),” she said. “It seems Delhi is after us. If any of our MLAs is not motivated to join even after being offered money or ministry, they threaten him with NIA. I am not saying Delhi is a part of this. But I am saying a perception is being created,” she added. She claimed she had informed New Delhi of it. “I told them a perception is being created that if any MLA doesn’t give in, he is being threatened with NIA,” she said. Mehbooba, during the interview, said that, in Kashmir, mainstream politicians, separatists and militants were “all part of a single society.” “They share friendships, blood-relations. Then you bring NIA in,” she said. Referring to her father Mufti Sayeed’s meeting with Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Mehbooba said the latter, in 2002, had announced from Red Fort that he would ensure “free and fair” elections in J&K.
“After that the voter percentage increased. People faced guns and other pressures but voted. However, if you make a government now by breaking PDP, you would break the faith of the voters in Kashmir.” She also claimed that she was not against anyone forming the government and becoming the Chief Minister of J&K. “We do not have any family control over it, but PDP was created as an alternative political party after a lot of hardships in J&K. The party has its own agenda… there are perceptions being created that the government would be formed after August 15 by breaking the party,” she said.