LS election: Vote to protect land, jobs and future of youth: Mehbooba Mufti

Srinagar,  Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) President Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday said that people of Jammu and Kashmir have to vote this time to protect land, jobs, electricity and future of youth.

The former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister is contesting from the Anantnag-Rajouri parliamentary seat against National Conference leader Main Altaf and the Democratic Progressive Azad Party (DPAP) President Ghulam Nabi Azad.

“I am not contesting the Lok Sabha election to reach the parliament,”, Mufti said while addressing a public rally at Devsar in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district.

“I am fighting the elections to raise the voices of those people and youth who are suffering tremendously”, the PDP President said

“This time people have to cast the votes for themselves not for me”, Mufti said, adding “cast your vote to raise your voices, to protect your land, jobs, electricity and for the bright future of the youngsters”.

“Parliament election is a test and you have to decide if anybody better than me could reach your voices to the Parliament, vote him”, she told the gathering.

Jammu and Kashmir has become a laboratory where every test is being conducted for the first time, she said.

“Don’t remain as silent spectators raise your voices peacefully”, the former CM said and warned “If we could not raise our voices today the time will come the land beneath the feet of the youth would be snatched as such an atmosphere is being created in Jammu and Kashmir”.

“Delhi often says everything is alright in Kashmir. Tourists are coming and taking pictures also saying everything is fine in Kashmir. But tourists did not know what the people of Kashmir are suffering from”, Mufti said.

She said what happened in 2019 when the special status of Jammu and Kashmir was snapped was an earthquake. “The earthquake jolts for some time and stops, but the earthquake that occurs in 2019 have not yet stopped”, the PDP president said.

Mehbooba alleged that the central government wants to grab our lands, forests, water sources and jobs of the youth.

Mufti alleged that the youth are being booked under Public Safety Act (PSA) for uploading contents to express their anger on social media and media persons are being booked under UAPA for writing the truth.

She alleged that about 200 youth have been arrested after militants recently attacked a tourist guide in Shopian district. “As the elections are nearer the authorities have started arresting the youth of the valley for their no fault”, the PDP President alleged.

“The Kashmiri people are dumb stricken and the Gujjars and Bakarwals are being shunted out from the forests. The time should not come that the people would be also driven out of their homes here”, she warned.

The central government closed our schools on the name of “kahcharai land” and people who are being told to vacate that land on the name of government land…what is their (government) motive and intentions”, the former CM questioned.

Mehbooba said under a policy the government imported cheap apples from America and Iran to sabotage the apple production of Kashmir valley. Efforts are being made to make the people of Kashmir poorer, she said.

“This is not a contest between the National Conference and PDP. It is the fight who will raise the voices of the people and who not”, Mufti said.

She said “I tried to bring all the parties to pull the rope of success together and not to contest separately”.

“I said in Mumbai that the seat sharing will be done by the senior leader Dr Farooq Abdullah and what decision he will take would be acceptable to us”. But they said PDP existed nowhere”, the PDP Chief said.

“If Farooq and Omar had decided that PAGD will field only National Conference candidates they would have at least called me once”, she said and added “even if they would have said in the interest of Jammu and Kashmir NC is the lone party which could raise the voice of the people, I would have saluted them”.

But, instead they trampled us and said that PDP is a 4 or 5 number party, Mehbooba said.