‘Era of oppression’ must end to make PM’s dialogue process credible: Mehbooba Mufti

On August 5, 2019, mainstream politicians including Mehbooba, Farooq Abdullah, his son Omar and others were taken under preventive detention. The senior Abdullah was the first to be slapped with the controversial Public Safety Act(PSA), followed by Omar and Mehbooba. The PSA against Abdullah senior was revoked in March last year and in the same month Omar was also set free. However, Mehbooba was released only in October last year.

Maintaining that she took part in the Delhi talks only to apprise the central leadership of problems faced by the people, Mehbooba said, “I have not come for any power politics as my stand is clear that I will not contest any elections until the special status of Jammu and Kashmir is restored.”

“Since the invite was from the prime minister, I took it as an opportunity to highlight the suffering of people post August 5, 2019 when Article 370 was scrapped and bifurcation of state was done unconstitutionally”. Article 370 of the Constitution gave special status to J and K. On August 5, 2019, the border state was bifurcated into union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

Mehbooba also reiterated that she would not contest elections if J and K remained a union territory.

“I have made it clear many times that I would not contest any elections under the Union Territory, but at the same time my party is also aware of the fact that we will not yield political space to anyone. We contested the District Development Council elections held last year,” she said.

“Similarly, if elections are announced for the assembly, the party would sit and discuss.”

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