Stating that if Article 370 is scrapped, the state will constitutionally revert to instrument of Accession, Senor PDP leader and party’s candidate for Baramulla Lok Sabha seat, Muzaffar Hussian Beigh said that it was NC founder Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah who in Legislative assembly once stated that Article 370 was not a verse of Quran-that cannot be changed.
Beigh while training his at National Conference said that he never suggested to the then Governor Jagmohan to scrap Article 370 instead it was NC that damaged the very vitals of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. “This is a shameful lie. Dr Farooq, who has levelled this allegation, must know that his son is a chief minister at present. He can study all the files of the law department or any other department when I was Advocate General. If he proves his contemptible statement, I will withdraw from politics,” said Beigh while adding that when he drafted constitution of Peoples’ Conference, headed by late A.G Lone, he put on record that instrument of accession and article 370 are the foundations of state’s relationship with the union of India.
The former deputy chief minister stated that it was Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah who once during the session of the legislative assembly at Jammu stated that Article 370 is not the verse of Quran- that cannot be changed. “I do not want to go into details about the role played by late Sheikh Sahib. If he were alive to answer me, I would do so. I do not want to dig old graves unless NC compels me to do so.”
Over the possible emergence of BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi as the prime minister and the relations of PDP with the new government at New Delhi, Beigh remarked that If NDA comes to power, with Modi as prime minister, PDP will have to see if Modi’s declaration to follow Vajpayee’s policy vis-à-vis Kashmir issue is true or not. “Our attitude towards such a government will depend on its policies and action on this issue and its willingness to facilitate economic development, justice and empowerment.”
He added that PDP will have to do business in the interests of the people of the state with whosoever comes to power in New Delhi. “When we were in government, we had good and cordial relationship with NDA, headed by Shri Atal behari Vajpayee and then with UPA, headed by Dr Manmohan Singh at the government level and by Smt. Sonia Gandhi at political level.”
Commenting over the forthcoming parliamentary polls and the possible effect of boycott call given by Kashmir’s pro-freedom camp, Beigh stated,” The effect of poll boycott will be to help NC to some extent. However, sometimes boycott is engineered by government agencies. I hope officers of the state will not help NC to engineer a repeat of 1987.”
Beigh who is also PDP’s candidate for the Bramaulla constituency said that at first he was reluctant to contest the forthcoming polls. “In March 2010, in a large public meeting held by PDP in parade ground, Jammu, I had declared that I had no desire to contest any election or hold any public office in future. The reason for this declaration was simple. People in general do not believe in politicians’ speeches and intentions. Even if a politician speaks from his heart, people suspect that behind the apparently noble and good ideas, there is a selfish desire to befool people and garner their votes with the sole desire to capture power.”
However, he said that Mufti Mohammad Sayeed persuaded him last. “ Mufti Sahib and other colleagues wanted me to contest for a noble cause beyond and above electoral ends, I had to accept their wishes at last.”