I Will not contest polls until Article 370 is restored: PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti

New Delhi [India]: Stating that she will not fight election until Article 370 is restored, Former Chief Minister of erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti said on Tuesday that Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will fight elections in future.

Speaking to reporters in New Delhi, PDP chief Mufti said, “Of course, we are going to fight elections, we will not cede any space to them, I won’t be fighting elections till Article 370 is restored.”
Referring to the recent incidents when action was taken against those who cheered for Pakistan during the India-Pakistan cricket match, Mufti recalled that during former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s time, citizens of the two countries were cheering for each other.

“I remember a cricket match between India and Pakistan during Vajpayee ji’s era, where citizens of Pakistan were cheering for India and citizens of India were cheering for Pakistan. And former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf also praised the then Indian captain MS Dhoni,” said PDP chief.

“But some days ago in Agra, when some youngsters cheered for the Pakistan cricket team during a match with India, not a single lawyer is ready to take their case, so it feels like Gandhi’s India is turning into Godse’s India,” she added.

Mufti further said that said “Have never seen a greater Statesman than Vajpayee. He visited Pakistan twice. He knew dialogue is the way forward.”

She also slammed the BJP for running Jammu and Kashmir like a colony. Mufti has been asking the Centre to restore Article 370 and Article 35A and said that Kashmir cannot be kept with the country by using muscle power.

“We decided to go with India of Gandhi Ji, which gave us Article 370, Article 35A and our own flag…If you want to keep Jammu and Kashmir with you, reinstate Article 370 and Article 35A and solve the Kashmir issue. You cannot keep Kashmir with you by using muscle power,” Mufti said while addressing a public rally at Banihal in Ramban district of Jammu and Kashmir.

In August 2019, the Central government scrapped Article 370 which gave special rights to the people of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the region into two categories- Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

On Tuesday, Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai had said that the delimitation panel chief Justice (Retd.) Ranjana Prakash Desai had meetings with all the stakeholders in UT of Jammu and Kashmir and the process of delimitation would be completed as soon as possible.

She also spoke on the recent demands of two chief ministers from northeast states – Meghalaya and Nagaland. Mufti said, “Revocation of Armed Force Special Power Act (AFSPA) was our part and parcel of the agenda with the BJP when the PDP-BJP alliance was in the government Jammu and Kashmir state. Removing AFSPA from the areas where the incidence of militant activities are less will be a good and positive step.”

Recently, after the Nagaland civilian killing, Nagaland and Meghalaya CMs Neiphiu Rio and Conrad Sangma, respectively, had demanded the repealing of AFSPA from their respective states. (ANI)

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