LS Polls: Mehbooba Mufti accuses BJP of ‘scaremongering’ on communal lines

SRINAGAR — PDP president Mehbooba Mufti on Thursday accused the BJP of resorting to “scaremongering” on communal lines as the ruling party has been “beaten” in the first three phases of Lok Sabha polls.

“Whatever is happening in the country, it is clear that the BJP has lost badly in the first three phases of the elections so far. The Hindu-Muslim divide, mangalsutra and buffalo politics is not working… People are more receptive to 30 lakh jobs, 50 per cent reservation for women, LPG cylinder for Rs 450 and MSP for farmers, which the Congress has promised,” Mufti told reporters while campaigning for PDP candidate for Srinagar constituency Waheed Para.

The former chief minister claimed that people have realised that the BJP only wants to contest elections on the basis of religion and that the ruling party does not want to do anything for them.

“The BJP wants to get votes by playing communal politics… If this government gets another term, they will finish off the Constitution. People will lose the right to (free) speech and reservation will also be done away with,” she added.

On being asked about the police denying permission to National Conference leader Omar Abdullah to campaign in certain parts of the Baramulla Lok Sabha constituency, Mufti said it is “absolutely wrong”.

“Police and administration should be neutral. I also wanted to go to Tral (in Pulwama) but I was not allowed. This attitude of police in north Kashmir, south Kashmir or central Kashmir (constituencies) is wrong. They are curtailing the movement of parties like the National Conference and the PDP so that they can benefit the proxy candidates of the BJP,” she alleged.

On the recent spurt in encounters in Jammu and Kashmir, Mufti said questions were being raised as to why these incidents were happening only in the Anantnag-Rajouri Lok Sabha constituency.

“The BJP government is trying its best to stop Mehbooba Mufti from going to the Parliament. The encounters are happening in this area only… So that there is an election boycott, so that people do not come out (to vote). They are claiming that militancy has ended. How have these encounters started suddenly?” she asked.

The PDP president said while she condemns the attack on security forces in Poonch, the ordinary masses should not be “harassed” following the incident.

“We condemn the incident that took place in Poonch. However, the wanton arrests after the attack make me apprehensive that we might have a repeat of Tope Pir incident when three persons were killed by torture. It is my appeal to the lieutenant governor that people should not be unnecessarily harassed,” she said. — (PTI)