Srinagar, March 26: What has the Congress done to stop BJP‘s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi from growing, asked PDP president Mehbooba Mufti who described the 2002 Gujarat riots as “very, very bad” and said that “as long as people see some kind of blot on your hands, even if you come with food, gold or jobs, people will resist taking it from your hands”.
“The Congress says we have to stop Modi because he is anti-Muslim and communal…the Congress has been in power for the last 10 years. Godhra happened in 2002, what have they really done to stop him from growing,” Mufti told IANS in an interview here.
A firebrand, star campaigner of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mehbooba Mufti said: “What happened in 2002 is very, very bad. When Modi says he has been acquitted by SIT (Special Investigation Team) my only question is that a person who is a ruler when anything happens in that state the ruler has a moral responsibility.
“As long as people see some kind of blots on your hands even if you come with food, gold or jobs, people will resist taking it from your hands.”
She also accused the Congress of being communal.
“They hanged Afzal Guru. They picked up Afzal Guru from 28th number. If the BJP were shouting for Afzal Guru’s blood, the Congress handed them Afzal Guru on a platter. They played a double communal card,” she said.
Mohammad Afzal Guru, convicted for the 2001 attack on the Indian parliament, was executed Feb 9, 2013.
So, is the PDP talking either to the NDA or the UPA for future alliances?
“No, we are not talking to anyone.”
“Even when we were in alliance with the Congress in J&K, the NC (National Conference) was in alliance with the NDA.
“But despite that Atalji (Atal Bihari Vajpayee) gave us a tourism package which has benefitted everybody. He gave us the super highway. That super highway was stopped at Vijaypur in Jammu, but my father (Muftiy Mohammad Sayeed) told Atalji when you say Kashmir to Kanyakumari is one, why have you stopped the super highway there? The project was then extended to the entire state,” she said.
On Modi and his politics, Mufti said bluntly: “What happened in 2002 is very, very bad. When Modi says he has been acquitted by SIT my only question is that a person who is a ruler when anything happens in that state the ruler has a moral responsibility. As long as people see some kind of blots on your hands even if you come with food, gold or jobs, people will resist taking it from your hands.”
“…If he (Modi) becomes prime minister everybody will be watching him. You have heard even some of the separatist leaders expecting something good from him,” she added.
The 54-year-old leader said that “unfortunately after the NC and the Congress formed an alliance, it seems everything has come to a standstill”.
“The Congress says we have to stop Modi because he is anti-Muslim and communal. I would like to know that the Congress has been in power for the last ten years. Godhra happened in 2002, what have they really done to stop him from growing.
“In fact they have facilitated his growth by the kind of corruption that has taken place during their tenure. The only thing the Congress tried to stop Modi has been at the cost of Kashmiris.”
She opined that as far as the parliamentary elections are concerned, “people, mostly in the Valley, do not take these elections seriously”.
“The NC has been getting maximum seats for the past 60 to 65 years, but they have added no value to these elections. You need to have a larger concept of Kashmir beyond security concerns. In Delhi there is no permanent Kashmir policy except for the security policy.”
She accused the NC of “speaking in many languages”.
“They were sometimes taking pro-Pakistani line, sometimes talking autonomy or independence.”
“Definitely,” she said to a question on whether the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) will be revoked.
“I think when militancy started the militants were in thousands, but today, if we go by the reports of the police they are in hundreds. When Mufti sahib was chief minister we had written to the defence committee headed by the defence minister. They gave a report that after six months it will be revoked. But unfortunately nothing happened.”
The NC says that the PDP’s self-rule document is nothing but an imitation of their autonomy document?
“Self-rule is very different from autonomy because it addresses both the internal and the external dimensions. External dimension is with Pakistan,” said Mehbooba Mufti.