Mehbooba defends alliance with BJP

Jammu and Kashmir

Srinagar, May 5 :  Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Thursday hit out at those blaming her party for aligning with the BJP in the state.

Addressing a function in Anantnag district where four new trains were flagged off, Mehbooba Mufti said that before she took oath as the chief minister, some people had suggested that she should not continue with the alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party.

“I told them that in 1947, the state had acceded to the entire country that includes the BJP, the Congress, the RSS and the Communist parties,” she said.

She, however, asserted that the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 was guaranteed by the Constitution of India and she was bound by her oath of office to protect that status.

“When we fight elections, whether it is the BJP or the Congress or the PDP, we take an oath that we will protect the constitutions of India and of the state.

“The special status of the state is our identity and we have to protect it,” she said.

Mehbooba Mufti said that at a recent conference in Delhi where the Chief Justice of India and other judges were present, she told them that the state’s special status was given under Article 370 of the Constitution, “and so it needs to be protected by all of us.

“There are a lot of misconceptions about Jammu and Kashmir. The people here are very nice and peaceful.”

She said girls in Jammu and Kashmir were “safer compared to the rest of the country.

“If four girls come to visit Kashmir on their own, they will see the whole Valley without any untoward incident taking place.

“But the people in our country do not know this. The good things about Kashmir do not reach people outside,” she lamented.

“The discussion is only about someone pelting a stone or waving a flag. I feel this (train) service is the start of good things and I want the hardship of the people to go.

“India is such a big country where democracy thrives, where different people live together. You see that more Hindus than Muslims visit Ajmer Sharif, the idols in famous temples are being made by Muslims of India.

“This extraordinary civilisation was what my father Mufti Muhammad Sayeed saw in Aligarh during his student days.

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