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Mehbooba asks party workers to prepare for upcoming ULB, Panchayat polls in J&K

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JAMMU, Aug 7 (PTI): With Urban Local Bodies (ULB) and Panchayats completing their five-year term later this year, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti on Monday asked the party workers to prepare for the polls.

“ULB and Panchayat elections are round the corner and I want my workers to prepare and fight the elections without considering the results. In case of a win, you will be able to serve the people of your area in a better way,” Mehbooba said addressing a workers’ meeting at the party headquarters here.

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She claimed that the BJP is “afraid” of her party which was evident from the fact that the party leaders and activists were detained on the fourth anniversary of Article 370 abrogation on August 5, “while no such curbs were placed on any other party”.

“What the BJP gave to the Jammu region? They are talking about two crore tourists visiting Kashmir, stones in the hands of valley youth replaced with laptops, successful G20 in Srinagar. They believe that the people of Jammu are in their pocket and will divide them on communal lines to garner votes.

“I don’t know the reality of laptops as for that we need to visit jails within and outside Jammu and Kashmir where thousands of youths are being held. I do not know who are the tourists visiting the valley but people are earning their livelihood. G20 should have also been held in Jammu as well,” she said.

She said August 5 is a “black day” for majority of the people of Jammu and Kashmir and the Constitution of the country as on this day in 2019 the BJP-led government abrogated Article 370 and divided the erstwhile state into two Union Territories.

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Mehbooba also questioned the claims of the BJP on normalcy and development in Jammu and Kashmir post abrogation of Article 370 and said while “stone-pelting has spread across the country” under its rule, most of the projects like AIIMS, medical colleges and road tunnels were sanctioned during former prime minister Manmohan Singh-led Congress government.

“When I was chief minister, the chief secretary and Director General of Police were from Jammu region but after the fall of the government, we have Lt Governor, his advisor, chief secretary and other officers from outside Jammu and Kashmir,” she said.

Mehbooba also criticized the BJP leadership for frequently attacking three families – Nehru, Abdullah and Mufti – and said they have nothing to offer except misleading the people by the slogan of ‘Parivarvad’.

“They will never talk about public issues like unemployment and inflation. Their only agenda is to make people poorer and garner votes after dividing them on communal lines. The Gandhi family had a history of sacrifice and believed in democracy and communal harmony. Rahul Gandhi says he is ready to go to the jail to keep the soul of India (democracy) alive,” she said.

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She also accused the BJP of indulging in corruption and sheltering rapists and said the saffron party is the richest of all political parties and needs to be probed for the source of its money.

Mehbooba said she did not own a house in Srinagar despite her father being a former union minister and chief minister but the BJP owns property worth crores in every district.

“They are afraid of the PDP because we do not have any stain on our clothes. The Enforcement Directorate questioned my mother and my brother but nothing was found,” she said, accusing the BJP of using central agencies against its political opponents.

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