Mehbooba hits back at Shah, says BJP Ministers never talked of discrimination

Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, June 24: PDP and BJP, the two coalition partners, who together ran the Government for more than three years in Jammu and Kashmir, are in collision course now after the break-up with PDP president and former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti hitting back very strongly on BJP national president Amit Shah’s allegations made yesterday about discrimination with Jammu and Ladakh saying the BJP Ministers in her Government, who largely represented Jammu region, never talked about it either at State or Central level.

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Mehbooba responded to allegations made by Amit Shah at a public rally at Parade Ground yesterday through six tweets this afternoon in which she asserted that the PDP commitment to ‘Agenda of Alliance’ never wavered and it was sad to see them (the BJP) disown their own initiative and label it as “soft approach”.
The BJP had 10 Ministers in the Council of Ministry headed by Mehbooba Mufti and all of them belonged to Jammu and Ladakh regions. The party had nine Ministers from Jammu region and one from Ladakh. None of them till tonight reacted to the charges leveled by Mehbooba Mufti that they have never expressed any such concerns (discrimination with Jammu and Ladakh regions) at the State or Central level.
“Allegations of discrimination against Jammu and Ladakh have no basis in reality. Yes, the Valley has been in turmoil for a long time and the floods of 2014 were a setback, therefore needed focused attention. But that does not mean that there was any less development elsewhere,” Mehbooba said through one of the six tweets strongly rejecting Amit Shah’s charge leveled yesterday that Jammu and Ladakh regions were discriminated during the PDP-led Government and that this was one of the reasons for withdrawal of support to the Government.
Taking on the BJP Ministers, all of whom belonged to Jammu and Ladakh regions, Mehbooba wrote on twitter: “Results on the ground for all to see. If anything they should review the performance of their own Ministers, who largely represented the Jammu region. If there were any such concerns, none among them (the Ministers) either at the State or Central level talked about it during the last three years”.
The BJP had no Minister from Kashmir region. People’s Conference leader Sajjad Ghani Lone was the Social Welfare Minister from the BJP quota but he didn’t belong to the BJP. The BJP had given representation to only Jammu and Ladakh regions as it had no MLA from Kashmir region. BJP’s Deputy Chief Ministers, first Dr Nirmal Singh and then Kavinder Gupta, also hailed from Jammu.
Asserting that the PDP’s commitment to ‘Agenda of Alliance’, which was co-authored by Ram Madhav (BJP general secretary and pointman on Jammu and Kashmir) and endorsed by senior leaders like Rajnath (Singh) Ji, the Union Home Minister, never wavered, Mehbooba said: “it is sad to see them disown their own initiative and label it a soft approach”.
She regretted the charges leveled against the Government by the former ally.
Referring to rape-cum-murder of a minor Bakerwal girl at Rassana in Hiranagar tehsil of Kathua district, the former Chief Minister said not handing over the Rassana case to the Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI), getting the “pro-rapist Ministers” removed and also issuing orders not to harass the Gujjar and Bakerwal community in the guise of anti-encroachment drives were her duties as the Chief Minister to provide a sense of security to both the communities.
The BJP had dropped Choudhary Lal Singh and Chander Prakash Ganga from the Cabinet as they had attended a rally in support of Rassana rape accused. However, on the BJP’s insistence, the Chief Minister had agreed not to issue formal order on Gujjars and Bakerwals, which had been incorporated in the minutes of Tribal Affairs Ministry.
“After expressing concern about freedom of expression in Jammu and Kashmir following Shujaat’s murder, their MLA, “notorious and even punished for his role” in the aftermath of unfortunate Kathua case still threatens journalists belonging to the Valley so what are they going to do about him”?, Mehbooba asked without naming Choudhary Lal Singh, whose video reportedly setting certain guidelines for the media had gone viral on the social media.
The BJP had highlighted the killing of `Rising Kashmir’ Editor Shujaat Bukhari in broad day-light in Srinagar along with two Personal Security Officers (PSOs) as major breakdown of law and order to withdraw support from the Government.
National Conference working president and former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, reacting to the developments, tweeted: “it’s true, there is no basis in reality because Kashmir is the region that lost out under Ms (Mehbooba) Mufti evidenced by the fact that the Valley neither got an IIT or an IIM and that’s just for starters”.
Amit Shah had yesterday alleged delay in start of IIM and IIT in Jammu.