People should use their votes sensibly to respond to laws like CAA: Mehbooba Mufti

SRINAGAR — People’s Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti appealed to the people of the country on Wednesday to use their votes sensibly to respond to laws like the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and not fall into the BJP’s trap by acting in rage.

Talking to reporters at the party headquarters here, Mufti claimed that the CAA was notified to “divert” attention from the “failures” of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

“To divert attention from its failures in the last 10 years on various fronts like unemployment, youngsters committing suicide, the farmers’ plight, price rise and all those issues that take the country 1,000 years back rather than forward, attempts are being made to somehow cause Hindu-Muslim clashes and make people come out on the streets,” Mufti said.

She accused the BJP of using every ploy to start communal clashes in the country.

“They demolished mosques, went looking for idols in every mosque, demolished madrasas and houses of people like the rat-hole miner, they are disrespecting and kicking namazis, they have tried every ploy. When they saw that Muslims were still not coming out on the roads the way they wanted so that communal clashes broke out, they have used their last ploy (CAA),” the former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister said.

She appealed to the people of the country, especially Muslims, to remain calm and not fall prey into the BJP’s hands.

“The Shaheen Bagh protests (against the CAA in Delhi) were peaceful but many youngsters are still in jails without bail. I can only appeal to all our Hindu brethren and, especially Muslims, not to fall in their trap. There is no need to come out on the roads yet,” Mufti said.

She said it was time to respond through the vote.

“Senior people from the (Muslim) community have taken the legal recourse and it is a matter of happiness that for some time now, the court decisions have been in favour of the people. It is time to respond through your vote. People should use their votes in a right manner so that if tomorrow, you have to raise your voice against any law, then you can,” Mufti said.

She alleged that the CAA is essentially a law to target Muslims.

“The most beautiful thing about this country is its democracy, which they are trying to end, and its Constitution, which they are trying to subvert. Otherwise, you cannot make a law in the name of religion. The CAA is essentially a law to target Muslims.”

“I appeal to people, especially Muslims, not to fall into this trap and use their votes sensibly and then, there is a need to fight this legally. Do not act in rage,” Mufti said.

Referring to reported protests in Shopian district of south Kashmir over the proposed takeover of land for a railway project, she said experts should be consulted before such a decision is taken.

“Jammu and Kashmir, especially the valley, is too fragile. Its ecosystem is fragile. Our economy is dependent on the fruit industry. If you plan a railway line through every village without thinking about it, thousands of our plants, which are the backbone of our economy, will have to be cut.”

“There is a need to bring in experts to study its impact on ecology and environment and such a decision should not be taken without consultations,” the former chief minister said.

She said there is a need to learn from Uttarakhand where trees were cut to lay roads and now, there are floods every year.

“Kashmir is more fragile than Uttarakhand. You should not build or extend railway lines blindly,” she said. — (PTI)