JAMMU, Jan 2: Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today took the fight back to the Opposition camp when she blamed 1987 rigging of elections by National Conference-Congress as major reason for the youth picking up gun and some of them leaving for Pakistan, leading to the Kashmir problem.
Speaking during obituary reference in the Legislative Assembly, Mehbooba countered the Opposition National Conference, Congress and CPM charge blaming PDP-BJP Government for the unrest saying 1987 Alliance between National Conference and Congress (in which the Assembly elections were rigged) forced the youth to take to the guns and some of whom also went to Pakistan, leading to present trouble in the Kashmir Valley.
She also referred to ‘Raishumari’ call of National Conference saying present situation in Kashmir is direct fallout of political misadventures in the past by some political parties just to remain in power.
“The 22 year long political struggle and its abrupt end in mid seventies and the rigged elections of 1987 almost finished the space for political dissent in Jammu and Kashmir, which ultimately forced the youth to resort to violent means. These events have laid the seeds of uncertainties of present times in the State,’’ she said.
This invited strong protests from National Conference and Congress MLAs including Mohammad Akbar Lone, Abdul Majeed Larmi and others and Usmaan Majid of Congress, who were on their feet reminding Mehbooba that Late Mufti Sayeed was the PCC (I) chief in 1987.
Strong protests by the NC and Congress on Mehbooba’s attack on the Opposition were countered by PDP members including Parliamentary Affairs Minister Abdul Rehman Veeri, Javed Mustafa Mir and others, who called upon the Opposition members to listen to the Chief Minister patiently just as the treasury benches have done for the Opposition MLAs.
“You have to listen the historical facts. But the Chief Minister has said is the historical fact,’’ Veeri remarked and asked the Opposition: “where has their patience gone now’’?
However, Akbar Lone was unrelenting and charged the PDP with pursuing RSS agenda in Jammu and Kashmir. Larmi said the National Conference has sacrificed hundreds of its workers and can’t be blamed for the Kashmir problem.
Referring to the loss of lives of civilians, police and security personnel, Mehbooba described them as unfortunate saying there can be no difference in the killings.
“Every killing is unfortunate,’’ she said.
Referring to the demand for setting up of a Commission into the summer unrest killings in the Kashmir valley, the Chief Minister said she has only two days back received the report of Koul Commission, which had gone into 2010 killings, set up during National Conference-Congress regime.
“Let us first discuss 2010 killings report, which has come after six years and then talk of setting up of new Commission,’’ she said virtually rejected the Opposition demand for setting up of the Commission into 2016 summer unrest killings.
Mehbooba said she wants solution to Kashmir problem so that such kind of unrest didn’t occur again. “You (the NC and Congress) have created problems and I am trying to solve them,’’ she added.
Mehbooba’s sharp attack on National Conference and Congress was seen as major counter offensive as the two opposition parties had earlier blamed PDP-BJP alliance as one of the reasons behind Kashmir unrest with CLP leader Rigzin Jora saying the “mass uprising’’ in Kashmir was against the PDP forming Government with the BJP after campaigning against the party in the elections.
As soon as the Assembly resumed its sitting and Speaker Kavinder Gupta started obituary reference, the NC and Congress members demanded that tributes should also be paid to those killed during 2010 summer unrest.
Later, NC veteran Mohammad Shaffi Uri repeated his demand for inclusion of those killed in Kashmir unrest. Congress leader Rigzin Jora demanded that Army personnel killed in terror attack at Uri in August should also be included. BJP MLA Ravinder Raina said the people killed in Pakistan firing on the borders should also be made part of the obituary reference.
The Speaker agreed and all of them were included in the obituary reference.
Paying tributes to the leaders who passed away in the intervening period, the Chief Minister described them as personalities who not only contributed to the development of the State but also worked tirelessly to maintain and preserve the secular ethos of Jammu & Kashmir.
Terming former J&K Governor, Lt. Gen. (R) S. K. Sinha as an articulate and knowledgeable personality, the Chief Minister said he would long be remembered for his distinguished carrier in army and subsequent gubernatorial stints.
Mehbooba Mufti described former Union Minister, Muhammad Shafi Qureshi as one among the rare politicians of the State who led a principled political life, never compromised on it but remained steadfast with conviction. She described late Pt. Mangat Ram Sharma as a mass leader who all along his life fought for his people.
The Chief Minister also paid glowing tributes to Late Mohammad Shafi Bhat, Late Ghulam Din Shah, Late Aziz Mohammad Qari, Late Prithvi Chand and Late S. Dharam Bir Singh Oberoi.