|Early Times Report|
Jammu, Jan 20: Since the BJP on June 19 last year pulled the rug under from feet of Mehbooba Mufti, she has given no less than 100 reasons why her party joined hands with the BJP to form government.
On Sunday, during a press conference, Mehbooba dished out yet another reason for joining the BJP after the assembly polls of the year 2014 accorded a fracture mandate. According to her, the PDP joined hands with the BJP to protect the Gujjar community of Jammu region of the state. She said that Gujjar community was being selectively targeted in Jammu and the Governor's administration was not taking note of it.
Addressing a presser at her office residence in Gupkar, she said Gujjars were being targeted in the name of encroachment and bovine smuggling. She further added that it was for the protection of Gujjars that her party joined hands with the BJP.
Prior to this, Mehbooba and her party gave hundreds of other reasons why they formed the coalition with the BJP in Jammu and Kashmir.
On Jan 7, this year, there were two different reasons given by the PDP for entering into coalition with BJP. In Jammu, party's patron Muzafar Hussan Beigh stated that in order to ensure communal harmony between Hindus and Muslims in the country, PDP stitched the common ground with the BJP.
In Bejbehara, Mehbooba said that some of her party leaders had gone to Nagpur to form the government with the BJP and she formed the coalition only to save the party and state's interests.
She said that after the death of PDP Founder Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, she tried to bargain with the BJP for four long months, demanding the return of power projects, peace initiatives, and confidence-building measures. "When things were taking the final shape, our own people went to Nagpur and told the BJP that the government could be formed even without Mehbooba Mufti. With a sole aim to save the party and stop them from handing over everything to BJP, I reluctantly had to make a coalition with the BJP in the state; Otherwise, I wasn't willing to form the coalition with the party that had reneged on the promises made to my father," she said.
"The party was hopeful that Modi would behave like Vajpayee but he didn't and that was a letdown. When in November 2015, a rally was organized by the PDP for Modi, People had come on Mufti Sahib's call to listen. However, Modi didn't rise to the occasion and things started falling apart," Mehbooba said.
She added that BJP ran away from the government last year only because PDP remained consistently firm on its agenda and refused to sign on the dotted line. Mehbooba remarked further that in spite of medley of internal troubles in the coalition, the PDP compelled the government of India to withdraw thousands of cases against the stone pelting youth, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi was made to announce a unilateral ceasefire with Pakistan and offer dialogue with Hurriyat.