Peoples Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday claimed that the Bharatiya Janata Party will talk about the “god-given opportunity” of the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan to garner votes for the Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir, reported PTI.
“They will not talk about China which has intruded into Ladakh because they do not get votes by talking about that country,” Mufti said at a rally in Jammu. “If you want to frighten people, talk about Taliban, Afghanistan and Pakistan and do something here and there and seek votes.”
Jammu and Kashmir was divided into two Union Territories after the Centre on August 5, 2019, revoked the special status given to the erstwhile state under Article 370. The Union government was conducting delimitation exercise, or, the process of redrawing Lok Sabha and Assembly constituencies, in the Union Territory.
BJP leaders in the Union Territory had said that elections will be held after the delimitation exercise.
Mufti also announced that she would contest the upcoming elections in the Union Territory and clarified that she would not tie up with the BJP, her party’s former alliance partner.
On Sunday, Mufti claimed that it was not Hindus, but India and its democracy that were in danger under the BJP rule. She alleged that the saffron party had undone all the “good work” carried out by the Congress during its rule after India’s Independence.
The former chief minister alleged that the BJP was selling national resources and raising the prices of essentials items to fill its coffers to “buy or intimidate” opposition legislators.
She also said her mention of the Taliban had made her “anti-national” and triggered debates when the focus should be on the farmers’ agitation, inflation and other matters of public importance.
Last month, the former chief minister had told the Centre to learn from the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, warning that if the residents of Jammu and Kashmir lose their patience, the central government would “disappear” from the Union Territory.
Mufti had faced backlash for her comments with Union minister Anurag Thakur saying that the Peoples Democratic Party chief’s comments were “anti-India”.
On Sunday, Mufti said the BJP would be watching her rally to trigger another debate in the country. “Since the elections in UP [Uttar Pradesh] are drawing closer, there will be more discussion on Taliban and Afghanistan,” she said.
Mufti also claimed that the Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government had failed to provide employment to youth and infrastructure to its citizens, reported the Hindustan Times.
The former chief minister said there were debates about oppressive measures adopted by the Taliban against women in Afghanistan but that nobody has spoken about Indian women who are at risk of rape and dowry-related crime.
She said that her father and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed had spoken about “self-rule” as a means to tackle the problem of unemployment. Mehbooba Mufti, however, said that if she talked about the her father’s plans, she would again be called “anti-national.”