Mehbooba Mufti – The former CM of Jammu and Kashmir cautioned Governor SP Malik against meddling with the constitutional status of Jammu and Kashmir till a popular government takes power.
Mehbooba said there seemed to a “hidden agenda” behind the decisions to treat Jammu and Kashmir Bank as a PSU, changing procedures of state subject rules, revoking Roshni scheme and reports of changing Juvenile (Justice) Act.
“We respect the governor (S P Malik), (but) why is he encroaching upon the democratic space? There is no emergency on these issues. They can happen after elections when a new government is formed. It seems that there is perhaps someone’s hidden agenda, which I hope the governor will not be a part of… There should be no fiddling with the constitutional status of the state,” Mehbooba told reporters here.
“Unfortunately, the governor’s team does not advise him well, otherwise they would not have taken such decisions which have to be revoked later. Such decisions should be left to a popular government,” she said.
The former chief minister warned of an agitation if the state administration, headed by Malik, accords divisional status to Ladakh region while ignoring Pir Panjal and Chenab valley.
“There are reports that the governor’s administration will accord a divisional status to Ladakh. We are not against it. I request the governor and I hope all parties like the National Conference, Congress and others come together on this and demand that if you are giving Ladakh a divisional status, then Pir Panjal and Chenab Valley should also get it.”
“If the governor decides to grant divisional status to Ladakh, then Chenab valley and Pir Panjal should also get it, otherwise we will be forced to agitate peacefully and I will talk to other parties also on this,” Mehbooba said.
The PDP president said like Ladakh, Pir Panjal and Chenab valley are also far-flung areas of the state and such a decision could establish good governance in these areas. “So many decisions have been taken or orders have been passed since the governor’s rule was implemented in the state which is against the interests of Jammu and Kashmir.
“We were hopeful that the governor, who was a politician, would understand the sensitivities of J&K and will be cautious rather over-cautious, but, unfortunately, every day one or the other order comes out which creates insecurity among the people,” she said.
Asked about former finance minister Haseeb Drabu quitting the PDP, Mehbooba said people come and go at the time of elections. “Though I regret Drabu’s decision to quit the party, he has his own thinking and I wish him all the best,” she added.
Mehbooba Mufti Warns Governor Malik against Meddling with Democracy
Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and President of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) alleged on Friday that Governor Satya Pal Malik is encroaching on democratic space.
Addressing a media conference here, Mehbooba Mufti warned of an agitation over alleged encroachments over democratic space by the Governor. “The speed at which Governor is taking decisions indicates there is a hidden hand behind with a definite agenda.
“What is the urgency to issue orders on a daily basis? If the trend doesn’t stop, we will be forced to launch a peaceful agitation,” she said, adding that the reported proposal of the Governor to give Ladakh area status of a division was one example of such hidden agenda.
“We had hoped that the Governor will be cautious in dealing with the sensitivities of the state. But, unfortunately, everyday orders which add to insecurities of the people are being issued like the recent orders and controversies over J&K Bank, Roshni Act and PRC (Permanent Resident Certificate) rules.
“We respect Governor Sahib. But why is he encroaching on the democratic space? There is no emergency in issuing such orders. It seems somebody’s agenda is being implemented here,” she alleged.
The former CM said there were reports about granting the status of the division to Ladakh area of Kashmir. “There are hill development councils in both Kargil and Ladakh. All of us — PDP, National Conference and other Independents — believe that Pir Panjal and Chenab valley should be granted the status of divisions if you think of Ladakh.
“We would be forced to launch a peaceful agitation if division status is granted to Ladakh and not to Pir Panjal and Chenab Valley,” she warned.