Mehbooba Mufti says not interested in contesting Jammu and Kashmir polls till 'flag, constitution are restored'

In her first media interaction in over 14 months, Mufti added that the Gupkar Alliance will make a final decision on whether or not the constituent parties will contest the District Development Councils polls

Press Trust of India October 23, 2020 20:19:00 IST
Mehbooba Mufti says not interested in contesting Jammu and Kashmir polls till 'flag, constitution are restored'

PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti addressed her first press conference after 14 months. ANI

Srinagar: PDP president Mehbooba Mufti on Friday said her party and the recently-formed People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration will take a final decision on whether to contest elections or not in Jammu and Kashmir.

Jammu and Kashmir's mainstream political parties, including the National Conference and the Peoples Democratic Party, formed the Gupkar alliance on 15 October for the restoration of special status of the erstwhile-state and also to initiate a dialogue between all the stakeholders on the issue.

In her first media interaction in over 14 months after the abrogation of provisions of Article 370 in August last year and her subsequent detention, Mufti said personally she was not interested in contesting polls till the erstwhile-state's flag and constitution were restored.

"As far as the PDP is concerned, now we are not alone. If you remember, we, along with the NC, had taken a united stand before the commencement of panchayat polls (in 2018) that we will not participate in them. This time also, we will discuss it in the party, with our workers, and then discuss it in the People's Alliance (for Gupkar Declaration). Whatever decision we take there, will be bound on everyone," she told reporters at a press conference at her residence.

"As far as I am concerned, I have no interest in elections. Till the time the constitution, under which I used to contest elections, is returned to us, Mehbooba Mufti has got nothing to do with elections, let me tell you that," she said.

Mufti said she was not looking for power even if the Union Territory was upgraded to a state.

"I am no more for power be it a union territory or even a state. I was never for power. If I had any greed for power, we would not have left the Congress and created the PDP. We are not only for power. We could have made the government with the Congress (after 2014 polls), but we entered into an alliance with the BJP for a reason," she said, adding that "I am not ready to take any oath without my flag and my constitution".

When asked about whether her party and the Peoples' Alliance for Gupkar Declaration will contest the District Development Councils (DDCs), she said a meeting of the alliance was being held on Saturday where these issues will also be discussed apart from the general situation in Jammu and Kashmir.

However, when inquired further if not contesting those polls will be like conceding the space to the Bharatiya Janata Party, Mufti said it was a hypothetical question.

"You are discussing everything hypothetically. The alliance will sit and discuss it. It is not about the BJP, it is about the BJP and its cronies. Because, people have to survive and God forbid, it should not happen that they (people) will come into the hands of those where they will be kicked out.

"So, we will take a decision keeping in mind all the pros and cons. Farooq (Abdullah) sahib is our leader, so we will take the right decision after everyone gives their opinion," she said.

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