BJP's J&K outreach is vote bank politics: Iltija Mufti (IANS Exclusive)

BY ZAFFAR IQBAL   |  Srinagar


 Iltija Mufti, daughter of former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, has said that the ongoing visit of Union Ministers to the Union Territory was just the BJP's vote bank politics "aimed at regaining lost ground".

She said a genuine outreach could have been done with the restoration of the Internet services, releasing of political prisoners, speaking to the civil society members and addressing their concerns, talking about domicile and allaying people's fears about land being overtaken by outsiders.

A group of 36 BJP ministers is visiting 60 locations, 52 spots in the Jammu region and eight in the three districts of the Kashmir Valley between January 18 to 24.

In an exclusive interview with IANS on Thursday, Mufti said the people of Jammu were disgruntled with the BJP. "There is no genuine engagement or outreach," Mufti said. "They are apprehensive that they will lose seats in Jammu."

She said that it made no sense to have such a heavy presence of security in Kashmir when the government is saying that infiltration is down.

"It is like a bull in a china shop, they have no sense of control, the only thing they have is a brute majority, they don't have a blueprint, they don't have right policy, they don't have right priorities, their priority ever since they came in power is the NRC, CAA and Ayodhya", she said.

She said the BJP-led government has tampered with the map of India by splitting a state into two union territories.

"They think all of this is a joke," Mufti said. "This public outreach is nothing but an effort to mobilise the voters in Jammu." She alleged that the Centre has no intention to restore normalcy in Kashmir.

"I think whatever they are doing is just a charade," Mufti said. "They don't want to restore normal life in Kashmir and they have the audacity to get the ministers to go to Lal Chowk while being escorted by a large number security officials."

She said the limited restoration of Internet services in Jammu and Kashmir is a joke and a move done "under international pressure".

"Perhaps, President (Donald) Trump is visiting J&K next week, that's why Internet has been restored in a limited manner," Mufti said.

"They have taken Kashmiris back to dark ages, people can't communicate," she said.IANS