SRINAGAR: Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti warned the Centre that any attempt to weaken her Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) by causing defections will have dangerous consequences for the state as it will erode the trust of the Kashmiris in democracy and give birth to new militant leaders. “If Delhi intervenes and breaks our party, and makes Sajad Lone or whosoever the Chief Minister, it will erode the trust of the Kashmiris in Indian democracy. Any intervention from Delhi will be taken seriously,” she said.
Mr Lone is an MLA of the People’s Conference from Handwara. Besides him, there is one more lawmaker of his party. After the PDP-BJP government fell last month, about half a dozen PDP legislators raised a banner of revolt against Ms Mufti’s leadership and accused her of nepotism. In the 87-member Assembly, the PDP has 28 MLAs, BJP 25, National Conference 15 and the Congress 12 legislators, apart from seven others. The magic figure is 44.
Political circles are abuzz with rumours that the BJP is trying to cause a split in the PDP to garner the support of MLAs to stake claim for forming a new government. BJP’s national secretary Ram Madhav recently denied such a possibility. While speaking to reporters here, Ms Mufti said, “Like in a family every political party can have problems. We will sort them out but if Delhi tries to dismiss the voting rights of people like 1987 and if it tries to create divisions and interfere it would give birth to a Salahuddin and a Yasin Malik as it happened in 1987. If it tries to break the PDP, then outcome will be dangerous.”
Muhammad Yusuf Shah who later became Syed Salahuddin, the “supreme commander” of Hizbul Mujahideen, had contested 1987 elections which were allegedly rigged by the ruling National Conference-Congress combine. Muhammad Yasin Malik, now chairman of the pro-independence Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front, was then associated with the Muslim United Front, an amalgam of Opposition parties, which was allegedly made to lose the election to the ruling combine....