Mehbooba accuses BJP of muzzling dissent, says ‘it wants to ban PDP’

Accusing Bharatiya Janata Party (PDP) of muzzling dissent and created an atmosphere where there is no place for democracy, former chief minister and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday said that the saffron party wants to ban her party.Ms Mehbooba further alleged that ever since the Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) decided to participate in the District Development Council (DDC) election, the degree of oppression has increased in J&K. “After we decided to participate in the DDC elections, the degree of oppression has increased in J&K. Candidates of PAGD are confined and are not allowed to go out for campaigning. How will the candidates campaign if they are not allowed to move out?” Ms Mehbooba told reporters during a press conference here on Sunday.“BJP wants to develop its ecosystem here where there is no place for real democracy in India. They want install their puppets in J&K and that is the reason they didn’t want us to participate in the elections. If we would not have participated, they would have dubbed as anti-national… now that we are participating they are creating hurdles for us,”“BJP ministers, who visit J&K, talk about Article 370 nine out of ten times. If they are confident that the Article 370 has ended and can’t be brought back, they why do they get rattled when I talk about it? Why am I being told directly and indirectly not to talk about it?” she said.“I have been told that since my release, people have started to raise the issue again… I provoke them to raise the issue of Article 370… so they want to get to me and ban my party. This is happening because I raise my voice,” she added.Answering a question about high voting percentage in DDC polls, Ms Mehbooba said election is not a solution to Kashmir issue as long as there are nine lakh soldiers in J&K“In the past, the polling percentage has been higher than DDC polls, but it is not a solution to the Kashmir problem. Kashmir problem is still there as long as there are 9 lakh soldiers in J&K,” she said.“Which state of India has so many soldiers that too in civilian areas? Which state of India has so many check points?” she asked.The former chief minister said that Kashmir issue is going to be there as long as there is no resolution through a dialogue with the people of Jammu and Kashmir and with Pakistan.Speaking about the arrest of PDP leader Waheed-ur-Rehman Parra, who was arrested by NIA for allegedly supporting militants, Ms Mehbooba said he was arrested just after filing his nomination for the DDC polls. “Para is an advocate of dialogue, reconciliation and democracy. Despite being detained for 14 months, he decided to file his nomination for the DDC polls because of believed in democracy. But, the next day he got a call from NIA and was arrested. So election is no solution to any problem,” she said.Ms Mehbooba said that the Roshni Act was a scheme but has been dubbed as a scam. “The Roshni scheme was a law passed during the time of the National Conference and implemented during the time of Ghulam Nabi Azad. It was a law, it was made by our assembly If anyone legalised their land in that law, how is it a scam? If they think rich people have taken a lot of land, go after that. Why are they going after poor people who have 2 marla or 5 marla land,” she said.

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