‘Will Leave Throne The Day It Becomes My Weakness,’ Says Chief Minister 



CM Mehbooba Mufti
CM Mehbooba Mufti

Insisting that her government will deliver on the commitments it has made, Chief Minister Ms Mehbooba Mufti Saturday said she will stay in the chair as long as it is her strength. “The day I feel this chair has become my weakness, I won’t remain clinched to it even for a minute,” she said in her maiden 80-minute speech that marked conclusion of debate over governor N N Vohra’s address.

Defending her father’s decision to ally with BJP, Ms Mufti said it was a smaller decision than the accession of 1947.

“Aligning with the BJP for government formation was not a bigger decision than the one taken by the tallest leader of J&K, Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah, who supported accession of the only Muslim majority state with India in 1947,” Ms Mufti said, apparently in response to Omar Abdullah’s Friday speech.

Ms Mufti rebutted Omar for criticising her for keeping quiet for two months. “I did not remain aloof for 22 years. I just waited for two months,” Ms Mufti said, apparently referring to Sheikh Abdullah’s political career. “This throne is not my weakness, it is my strength. The day it becomes my weakness, I will leave it.” She said she is on the throne as long as Agenda of Alliance is operational.

Maintaining that the challenge in dealing with J&K situation has to be the concern of the entire nation, Chief Minister, Ms Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday said time has come for the people of Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh to begin a new journey with a new hope for a prosperous future.

“It is not the concern of only PDP, NC, Congress or BJP to strive towards pulling J&K out of the morass, it is and should be the concern of the entire nation,” Ms Mufti said.

Making it clear that PDP never gave up on its Self-Rule agenda, Ms Mehbooba said the work is already in progress towards the implementation of various elements of this roadmap for resolution of the problems of J&K. “And fortunately BJP is also now partnering with us to revive and carry forward the reconciliation and confidence building process in the State and the region,” she said.

Launching a scathing attack on her political opponents, Ms Mehbooba said unfortunately they want me to get all that back, including power projects and water resources, in just two months, which they surrendered while being in power for the past over three decades. “But I assure you that I will leave no stone unturned to get J&K back what it has lost over the years in lieu of power,” she said and added that unlike National Conference, which rushed for cobbling up alliances for power, PDP had both in 2002 and in 2015 clearly spelled out its terms of engagement in black and white, with Congress and BJP respectively, for government formation.

Pointing towards Omar Abdullah, Ms Mufti said the hue and cry raised by the former chief minister on the issues concerning the political and economic challenges confronting J&K sounds hollow given the fate met by his party, National Conference’s autonomy resolution and the repeated compromises made by the party for the power.

“You talk of returning power projects but what happened to autonomy resolution which was thrown into the dustbin by the Centre. We agree that our resources should benefit our state and our people. We should have maximum share in our resources and I and my government are in full agreement on that. But tell me you gave away the power projects and you are now shouting what happened to power projects. We are all answerable to public,” she said.

Making it clear that she will deliver on the commitments made with the people, Ms Mehbooba said she will stay in the chair only as long as it is her strength “and the day I feel this chair has become my weakness, I won’t remain clinched to it even for a minute.”

Lauding the pluralism in J&K, she said it is because of the deep-rooted secularism in Jammu and Kashmir that her father went on to win assembly election from RS Pura in Jammu.

“It is because of our secular nature that a Kashmir Pandits like Makhan Lal Fotedar and Piaray Lal Handoo won from Muslim majority areas. The roots of our ideology are so strong that they can’t be dislodged by any other ideology,” she said.

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