BJP has put J&K on sale, divided people on religious lines: Mehbooba Mufti

Jammu, Sept 21: Accusing the BJP of “dividing” Jammu and Kashmir on religious lines, PDP president Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday alleged that the Union Territory has been put on sale by the central government.
“Jammu and Kashmir has been put on sale by the government for the people from outside. They want us to become bankrupt in order to make us dependent on (people from) other states,” Mufti told reporters here.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief claimed all projects which were launched during her tenure as the chief minister of the erstwhile state have been halted by the BJP-led government at the Centre.
“The contracts of liquor businesses under the excise policy have been given to outsiders. Liquor will be consumed by the people of Jammu and Kashmir but the profit will go to outsiders,” she alleged.
She claimed all big projects, including mining contracts, have been allotted to outsiders.
Mufti, who is supporting the Jammu traders’ call for bandh on Wednesday against the opening of Reliance retail stores in the city, said the shops will destroy small businesses.
“What we have in the country, they (BJP government) are selling to corporate houses”, she said.
Replying to a question about investments coming to Jammu and Kashmir, she said: “Whatever investments we got earlier have also been destroyed. They (industries) have gone back after closing their ventures here.”
Earlier, there were strikes in Kashmir, but now they are taking place in Jammu, she said.
She also accused the BJP government of dividing people of Jammu and Kashmir on religious lines.
“J&K is laboratory where they are testing (divide and rule policy). It (policy) will then be applied to other states,” she alleged.
“The BJP dubs those who raise any issue as anti-nationals. A sardar ji becomes Khalistani, we are dubbed as Pakistanis… BJP people only call themselves as Hindustanis,” she said.
She further claimed that the present dispensation at the Centre has no clear policy on Jammu and Kashmir.
“Nehru ji and Vajpayee ji had a vision for Kashmir. They knew what they had to do on economic, political and emotional fronts… there is no vision of (this) government,” she said.
Replying to a question about the government’s decision to rename institutions after martyrs, which the Hurriyat has dubbed as a “Hindutva agenda”, Mufti asked what Prime Minister Narendra Modi was doing to tackle the high unemployment rate in Jammu and Kashmir.
“Unemployment rate in J&K is 18 per cent. Corruption is high here… Will students get jobs by changing names of schools, lanes and road? So, it (renaming exercise) is all non-sense”, she said.
Mufti further said stone pelting is not a disease but a symptom and asserted that the “disease is growing”. (Agencies)