Mehbooba Mufti, the former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, commended the people of Karnataka on Sunday (May 21) for providing a beacon of hope to the entire nation. She praised their victory over the “fascist, communal, and divisive” Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the recently-concluded Assembly election.
She, however, cautioned people against the developments that happened in Delhi, saying that it was a wake-up call for everyone as it can happen anywhere in the country.
Mufti was referring to an ordinance passed by the President on Friday, May 20, giving overriding powers to the Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor — a union government nominee — to oversee the transfer, posting and disciplinary proceedings against civil servants in Delhi.
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The ordinance was brought in just a week after a Supreme Court Constitution Bench had ruled that powers over the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers in the national capital lay with the Delhi government and not the Central government. The apex court had made it clear that the Central government cannot take over governance of elected state governments.
Speaking to reporters in Bengaluru, she said, “Whatever happened in Delhi is a wake-up call for everyone. Whatever happened in Jammu and Kashmir is going to happen around the whole country.”
The PDP chief added, “BJP doesn’t want to have any opposition. The Delhi government has been disempowered. This is going to happen to everyone.”
Mufti also said she will not contest the Assembly election till Article 370 is restored in her state. However, her party PDP will contest the election.
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“Karnataka has given a ray of hope to the entire country. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and everyone in the BJP were using religion in the Karnataka elections but still people voted them out,” she said in a press conference here.
According to her, Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra had laid the foundation for Congress victory in Karnataka Assembly election.
“Last five years were hit by hatred and communal politics. Divisive politics was played here also in Karnataka. Now Siddaramaiah and D K Shivakumar will heal the wounds,” the PDP chief said.
Mufti said Jammu and Kashmir was the first state to be hit by the “divisive and communal politics” but the people of Karnataka voted BJP out of power.
Talking about her state, she said Jammu and Kashmir was given special status, which was the best example of federalism, but “the state was dismembered, disintegrated and disempowered by abrogating Article 370 of the Indian constitution”.
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“Today ours is the most militarised state where every day harassing and frisking are happening in the name of security,” the former chief minister pointed out.
She said she spoke about her state to Bihar CM Nitish Kumar and others during the swearing-in ceremony of Siddaramaiah as Karnataka CM.
“I want people to pay attention to what has happened in J&K. All our passports have been confiscated. If this can happen to a family where I was a CM, and my mother is wife of Late Mufti Mohammed Syed, a former CM and former union minister, it can happen to everyone,” the PDP chief said.
Stating that Jammu and Kashmir has become an open-air prison, Mufti alleged that China is now interfering in the its affairs, which only Pakistan used to do earlier.
“This is what the BJP has done by abrogating Article 370,” she lamented.
On a question about Congress not inviting many opposition parties’ chief ministers during the swearing in ceremony of Siddaramaiah yesterday, such as BRS’s K Chandrasekhar Rao, YSR Congress’ Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy, AAP’s Arvind Kejriwal and CPI(M)’s Pinarayi Vijayan, Mehbooba Mufti said the Congress has to sacrifice more; “otherwise there are other options”.
(With agency inputs)