Major jolt to PDP; MP Karra resigns from party, LS

Fayaz Bukhari
Srinagar, Sept 15: Member of Parliament and one of the founding members of People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Tariq Hamid Karra, today resigned from the party as well as Lok Sabha in protest against policies of ruling BJP at the Centre and State Government’s “complete surrender” before it.
Announcing his resignation from the party and Lok Sabha, Karra told a news conference here today: “I have decided to disassociate myself from the primary membership of the PDP and from the membership of the Parliament to which I was elected from the Srinagar constituency in 2014 on PDP ticket.”
Karra alleged that the Central and State Governments policies of “unabated genocide”, continued denial of the dangerous ground realities, insensitive and adhoc approach towards Kashmir issue and blatant policy of dealing with Kashmiris by way of “oppressive, repressive and suppressive measures” were the other reasons for his resignation.
Karra was elected as MP from Srinagar-Budgam constituency in 2014 and had defeated National Conference president and former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah. He has been vocal in opposing PDP-BJP alliance and has in recent past took on the Government for failing to prevent civilian killings in Kashmir.
His resignation comes as a major embarrassment for both PDP and the BJP.”My heart is bleeding and my soul is crying for the people of my homeland. My conscience cannot take it any longer,” Karra said.
He said the PDP was floated in 1999 to safeguard lives, property, honour, dignity, self respect and political aspirations of the people. “But today, in the present tragic circumstances, (PDP) made a U-turn and treated its subjects much worst than the Nazi forces. I feel still continuing with them would be equally subscribing to the administratively inhuman and politically unethical blunders,” he said.
Karra said the PDP was formed to act as buffer between the Centre and State. “The launch of this new political dispensation was on the premise as facilitators rather than collaborators or obstructionists for the permanent, peaceful and everlasting resolution of Kashmir issue.”
“I was forcefully consistent on it so that PDP buffer character would be saved which had blood and sweat of thousands of dedicated and selfless workers in it,” Karra said.
He said he is leaving it to the conscience of all other members of Parliament, MLAs and MLCs from his party to decide whether they would like to side with their helpless people or let this bloodshed continue- “perpetuated by RSS-derived BJP and facilitated by the PDP.”
Lashing out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Karra said his “imperialistic methods” have intensified the Kashmir unrest and to only blame Pakistan for the current situation is a self-defeating approach.
“His hand twisting attitude and imperialistic methods towards Kashmir issue and issues of Kashmir added fuel to the fire. He lulls into a make belief world that by blaming only Pakistan he has succeeded in identifying the real cause. He firmly believes that minus Pakistan there would be no Jammu and Kashmir problem. To my understanding it is self defeating and not a smart move even in favour of India”, he said.
Karra alleged that the Prime Minister has pushed the country towards Hinduisation and turned “Incredible India into Intolerant India” “The Prime Minister has pushed the country towards Hinduisation and by doing so undermined Indian nationalism which has liberal space and place for diversity built into it. Though he couldn’t convert his jingoistic promises made during general elections even to the people of Ladakh and Jammu into reality, one must give devil his due for converting highly publicised Incredible India into Intolerant India”, he said.
Karra said his foresight about RSS and BJP making inroads and committing “religious aggression” in Kashmir has been vindicated after the State government imposed curfew and locked down major mosques and shrines in the Valley
“The Grand mosque (Jamia Masjid) of Sringar was closed and people were not allowed to offer Eid prayers. The last time the Grand mosque was closed was in 1819,” he said.
Calming that he had realized the repercussions of continuing unnatural alliance with BJP, Karra said: “I warned both late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and Mehbooba Mufti about the likely dangerous consequences and pressed for the course collection and even the realignment of secular forces, but no one paid any heed to my warnings.”
Stating that visible failures of governance in both the stints of the present State Government, Karra said:”Unpopular decisions like written test for ReT teachers, National Food Security bill, Sainik colonies, Migrant colonies, employment policy, unachievable and unachieved budget and arm twisting of its own MLAs compounded the Governor’s deficit”.
Blaming the Central Governments “non cooperative and hegemonial attitude” for the rising anger in Kashmir, Karra said: “Inhumane, criminal delay in release of funds for flood victims, biased approach towards the students selected for higher studies on Prime Ministers scholarship program, refusal on return of power projects, refusal to repeal AFSPA again in Parliament exposed designs of RSS driven BJP in Kashmir.”
Karra asked the PDP leadership to clarify its stand on the philosophy battle of ideas, which has turned into battle against ideas today, Party’s slogan of “Grenade se na goli se, baat banaygi boli se”, engaging Hurriyat leadership with Government of India, bringing India and Pakistan closer, formula of self rule, bringing the Power Projects back, getting AFSPA repealed, dropping Public Safety Act, PDP was protesting against civilians killings and now is on the same path today, PDP in the past was protesting for not allowing Friday congregations in Jamia Masjid, when the same is being done even today and even beyond that by not allowing congregational prayers on Eid Ul Azha, PDP in the past protesting at its highest pitch against use of pellet guns and now is using the same, PDP in the past protesting for the continued arrest of Hurriyat leaders, which is again an unabated practice today, PDP in the past was protesting for arresting the stone pelters because they have been driven to wall, and today they are doing the same, PDP in the past protesting for slamming Public Safety Act on Hurriyat leaders and the protesters and today they are also doing it, PDP very vociferously advocating the just causes of employees rights, and today they have left no stone unturned to crush employees’ rights, PDP was shouting hoarse in the past about rampant corruption and blatant nepotism, and today it has broken all previous records of corruption and nepotism, PDP in the past was protesting against government employment policy and now more exploitative and non people’s friendly employment policy was approved by the PDP government.
Responding to Karra’s resignation, PDP said that it was unfortunate that Tariq Sahib has chosen to label unfounded allegations against PDP despite the fact that he (Tariq Sahib) had strongly advocated alliance with BJP. He recalled that it was Tariq Sahib who had proposed name of Mehbooba Mufti as Leader of the Legislature Party and Chief Ministerial candidate which is a matter of record.
In a statement issued here today, general secretary of the PDP, Nazim-ud-Bhat today said that its alliance with BJP does not have a limited scope of the Government formation but its aim was to eliminate hostility between different regions of the State and also to remove the trust deficit between people of Kashmir and the rest of the country.
Bhat said: “Had Government formation been the only objective, PDP could have done with the help of any other party which had offered unconditional support to the party after 2014 Assembly elections. But the question was how such a Government could helped serving interests of the people of the State”, he said.
Bhat said that Karra has been elected by the voters of the Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency on the mandate of the PDP to channelize their sentiments and take them to the highest forum of the democracy in the country-the Parliament. “But unfortunately Tariq Sahib instead choose not speak even once during his two and half year tenure as Lok Sabha member in the Parliament”, he said.
Bhat further said that Karra’s engagement with different political parties of the country would have been more fruitful, eventful and dignified for the people of Kashmir rather than indulged into rabble rousing at the local level.
The PDP leader said the PDP-BJP alliance is getting strengthened as it can be seen now in the wake of two months continued unrest in the Kashmir valley. He said that comparing to the happenings of 2008 and 2010, the trouble this time has remained confined only to the Kashmir valley and rest of the State remained peaceful. It is in Jammu that those who feel heat of the situation in Kashmir, be it students, patients and businessmen are feeling dignified space.
Bhat, while mentioning that movement of transport involving fruits and other imported goods being blocked in Valley, said that beyond Banihal there was completely hastle free movement of such vehicles. He said that at national level students, business executives and traders of Kashmir are finding themselves in complete peace.
PDP general secretary further mentioned that Home Minister, Rajnath Singh is personally monitoring security, admission and scholarship issues of the students of the State which has resulted into the removal of fear and apprehension that usually affected them earlier.
Bhat said that sentiments of the people of Kashmir have evoked empathy in the entire nation and both the Houses of Parliament have discussed the Kashmir problem not once but twice. Led by Prime Minister, Narendra Modi discourse of the Kashmir problem is revolving around resolution through dialogue.
The PDP leader mentioned that Home Minister, Rajnath Singh has visited Kashmir thrice, once as head of the All Party Delegation which had invited all stakeholders for talks. “It is first time in the history of J&K that Chief Minister has personally written a letter inviting leaders of the Hurriyat Conference for talks”, he said.
Bhat said though for their own reasons Hurriyat leaders have closed their doors on visiting MPs yet PDP and State Government continued in facilitating dialogue between Centre and stakeholders of the State. He said that resolution of problems of J&K has been the fundamental principle of the PDP. He said that dialogue was the corner stone of the policies of the PDP and it was inducted into the Agenda of Alliance with the BJP as well.