Mehbooba Mufti Seeks Strength At Father’s Grave Ahead Of Electoral Battle


New Delhi: PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti paid a visit to the grave of her father, Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, to seek strength as she prepares for the May 25 electoral challenge from the Anantnag-Rajouri Lok Sabha seat.Busy campaigning for the Lok Sabha elections, Mehbooba on Thursday took time to reflect on her emotions.

I come to this place whenever I feel alone and always wish my father was here with me. I sit beside his grave and gather my strength, she said.Her father, a former chief minister of the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir state, died in 2016.

Despite facing political challenges since the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status in 2019, Mehbooba briefly touched upon the May 25 elections while at her father’s gravesite.

She also took the opportunity to draw attention to her political adversaries, particularly the National Conference, criticising their historical role in the region’s affairs.

From 1931, the National Conference has been part of all accords — I won’t call them agreements, I will call them surrender — and decision with regard to Jammu and Kashmir.

The situation we are in today, the problems we face are all because of them, Mehbooba said, emphasising her perspective on the region’s political landscape.The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) formed a government in the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir state in an alliance with the BJP in 2015.

The saffron party withdrew support from the government in 2018.Discussing the PDP’s past alliances and achievements, Mehbooba highlighted its endeavour towards dialogue and resolution.

She remarked, If you look at the history of Jammu and Kashmir over the past 70 years, if there has been any party that has come into an accord with the Centre, it was the PDP… we did not (have an) accord with the BJP.  

She added, We made them agree to talks with regard to the resolution of the Kashmir issue — talks with Pakistan, talks in Jammu and Kashmir, removal of AFSPA, protection of Article 370.  

However, the PDP chief failed to answer how her alliance could protect Article 370, which was abrogated by the Centre on August 5, 2019, besides downgrading the state into a Union Territory and bifurcating it into two.

Expressing optimism over the voter turnout in south Kashmir, Mehbooba anticipates a substantial participation compared to Srinagar and Baramulla, signalling her hope for a successful electoral outcome. The fate of 20 contestants, including Mehbooba, will be decided by more than 18.30 lakh eligible voters, including 8.99 lakh women and over 81,000 first timers.

The Anantnag-Rajouri constituency was reshaped on the recommendations of the Delimitation Commission in 2022, excluding Pulwama and some segments of Shopian and bringing in most of Rajouri and Poonch districts.

Mehbooba faces a tough challenge from National Conference candidate and influential Gujjar leader Mian Altaf and the Apni Party’s Zafar Iqbal Khan Manhas, who has the BJP’s backing.

Democratic Progressive Azad Party leader Mohamad Saleem Parray and 10 Independents are also in the fray.Campaigning for the elections ended on Thursday.

(This report has been published as part of the auto-generated syndicate wire feed. Apart from the headline, no editing has been done in the copy by ABP Live.)


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