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Getting rid of BJP will be bigger than freedom from British rule: PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti

PTI | Updated on: Tuesday, January 18, 2022, 11:24 AM IST

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Jammu: Accusing the BJP of "sowing seeds of hatred" among different communities, PDP president Mehbooba Mufti on Monday said getting rid of the saffron party will be bigger than freedom from British rule.

The former chief minister said the existence of Jammu and Kashmir is in danger under the BJP and urged the youth to stand up against the challenges faced by the country by spreading "love and friendship" without getting intimidated by the ruling party who are allegedly using government agencies to browbeat its opponents.

"They have ruined the country. in the present situation, one feels insecure and does not know whether he/she will be alive tomorrow or not. The arrests and raids by ED and other government agencies against the opposition leaders have become order of the day and the situation in Jammu and Kashmir is much worse than the rest of the country," Mufti said, addressing a tribal youth convention of her party here.

Welcoming dozens of youth who joined her party on the occasion, the PDP leader said, "History gives an opportunity to play a role and people of India availed this opportunity to free the country from British rule. Today, we have an opportunity to get rid of the BJP (to save the country). This development will be much bigger than the freedom struggle against British rule as they (BJP) are hell bent to break this country." She referred to the Haridwar "hate conclave", she said, "The speakers openly called for genocide of Muslims and the BJP leadership preferred to remain silent and those who spoke said everyone has a right to speak their mind." Mufti said Jammu and Kashmir had joined Mahatma Gandhi's India and "we will not allow this country to become (his assassin) Nathuram Godse's nation".

"They are praying to Godse. Gandhi was the biggest Hindu, a vegetarian and a secular leader who was not having any hatred against anyone, even those who were non-vegetarians," she added.

If anyone speaks against the BJP, they claim that they are abusing Hindus and the nation, she alleged.

"You are not the godfather of Hindus and this country. We have to stand up and face the challenges together, irrespective of our religion, caste and creed and counter them by spreading love and friendship," she said.

Alleging that the BJP wants to finish the existence of Jammu and Kashmir, Mufti said the youths have a responsibility as the coming generations will question their stand in the face of the BJP's onslaught on their identity and culture.

"Eight decades from now, our coming generations will like to know what our stand was (after BJP revoked Article 370 in 2019 paving way for outsiders to buy land and get jobs in J&K). They will question whether we fought this onslaught or surrendered. If we stay silent, nothing is going to happen," she said.

Asking people not to be afraid by the BJP's "arm twisting tactics", Mufti said there is no scope for violence, guns or stones to achieve the goals.

"If today we are scared, we are dead. We have to face this challenge by digging our feet and fighting with determination. You have to stand behind me," she said.

"We have to fight the fear created by them. We will not resort to violence or take guns or stones; we will fight our struggle with pen and non-violent manner," she added.

Mufti also criticised BJP for raking up the names of Mughal emperors like Babur and Aurangzeb in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh and said they are misleading the people in the name of temple and mosque as they have failed to provide good governance, create jobs and ensure development there.

"Had they done their job perfectly, the people should not have been forced to throw their dead relatives into Ganga during the second wave of COVID-19," she said.

Claiming that the poor have become poorer and the list of rich had gone up in the country, Mufti said that is what is happening under BJP rule.

"They have failed to develop UP and are claiming to develop J&K. They are forcibly taking the land from our people and eying to give it to outside investors as the land here is limited," she said denouncing the anti-encroachment drives conducted by the government agencies in both regions of Jammu and Kashmir.

She expressed happiness over the diversity in Jammu and said, "We need to stay united and foil any attempt to divide the people on the basis of region or religion. They want to divide us and dub those opposing their policies as anti-national and pro-Pakistan. Even Hindus are not spared by them." She also expressed concern over the arrest of a journalist under public safety act in the valley.

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Published on: Tuesday, January 18, 2022, 11:24 AM IST