Jammu and Kashmir
Srinagar, April 13: Condemning CM Mehbooba Mufti’s “insensitive and ill-timed” remarks of terming the families of the slain youth as “poor people” who should be economically compensated for losing their family members, senior National Conference Wednesday said this was the “Chief Minister blatantly denigrating the families of the victims after choosing to abandon the State in the middle of such a grim situation”. “This is undoubtedly Mehbooba Mufti’s Queen Marie Antoinette moment. While power seems to be the be-all and end-all of politics for Mehbooba Mufti and the PDP, she should not humiliate the bereaved families of these youth by trying to negate their devastating loss with monetary equivalence. No amount of economic compensation can blunt the sorrow of losing one’s loved ones and such remarks from the Chief Minister are shocking and condescending”, a statement issued here by the party read.
Hitting out at Chief Minister for abdicating her responsibilities during such a grave situation, Senior NC Leaders said Mehbooba Mufti chose her own political and personal PR in New Delhi, leaving the State Government directionless and rudderless while four innocent lives have already been lost in the last two days. “Rather than immediately flying back to Srinagar to take stock of the situation and prevent any further loss of lives, Mehbooba Mufti’s decision to continue remaining in New Delhi to meet Central BJP leaders is another sad reminder of her misplaced and self-seeking priorities and those of her party. Mehbooba Mufti is more interested in guarding her own chair rather bestowed on her by the BJP than tackling the developing situation in the Valley. There is complete chaos and disarray in the State Administration as the Chief Minister has failed in upholding her key responsibility of personally supervising such a serious situation”, the statement said.
“It’s also a cause of dismay and shock that the State Government, in a circular issued after an imaginary “civil society” meeting in Handwara, has reduced the entire tragedy of such wanton bloodshed into a non-committal, toothless ‘appeal’ by the District Administration to the Army Authorities requesting them to shift the bunker in Handwara Chowk within a period of one month. While the Chief Minister is shockingly absent from the State, the Government is leaving no stone unturned to belittle the people by trivializing their grief in this manner. If shifting of bunkers was the established, sufficient response to deal with such tragedies then Mehbooba Mufti should be reminded of how many bunkers were shifted in the previous years from various areas of the State – an initiative she undermined and ridiculed while in opposition”, the statement further said.
The NC leaders also lashed out at the Chief Minister for declaring that she was “fortunate” to meet the Defense Minister in New Delhi at a time when the State was engulfed in unrest and had witnessed loss of precious lives. “Mehbooba Mufti’s excitement at meeting the Union Defense Minister is of little relevance and import to the State and especially the grieving families of the slain youth. This situation required the Chief Minister to be in Srinagar rather than celebrating an audience with the Defense Minister in New Delhi and preparing to meet the Prime Minister with a bouquet of flowers”, the party statement said.
Also condemning remarks and statements by various PDP leaders blaming the people for ‘instigating’ this situation, National Conference said PDP’s lack of integrity in calling a spade a spade was now an established and inherent trait of their politics. “Rather than the Chief Minister cancelling her meetings and flying back to Srinagar to deal with this situation and prevent loss of lives, we have PDP leaders blaming the civilians for instigating and provoking the security forces. Such rank insensitivity and spiteful defamation of mourners and protesters in general is shameful and condemnable”, the NC statement added.