Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and PDP patron Mehbooba Mufti Wednesday staked claim to form a government with the support of the Congress and the National Conference. In a letter to Governor Satyapal Malik, Mehbooba said the PDP is the largest party in the state assembly having a strength of 29 MLAs.
"You might have gathered from the media reports that the Congress and the National Conference have also decided to extend support to our party to form a government in the state. The National Conference has the strength of 15 MLAs and the Congress 12. That takes our collective strength to 56.
"Since I am presently in Srinagar, it would not be possible for me to call on you immediately and this is to keep you informed that we would be seeking your convenience shortly to stake the claim for forming the government in the state," Mehbooba said in her letter.
During a rally on Tuesday, she said "soldier and gun" should not be the "only symbol" of India in the state and the country has to show its tolerant and liberal face to the people here. She said the country's democratic values can help it counter intolerance and sectarianism. "India has to show its soft face to the people of Kashmir and solider and gun should not be the only symbol of the country in Jammu and Kashmir. It has to be its democratic values, tolerance and religious harmony which could provide a bulwark against the swirling tides of intolerance and sectarianism," Mufti, the PDP president, said.
She was addressing party functionaries from Pattan, Shopian and Kulgam here. Mufti said muscular policy and the political patchwork "will not bring peace in the restive state" and such approaches have "miserably failed to yield positive results" in the past. "This muscular approach will not take us anywhere as this has been tried for many decades and has not yielded any positive outcome. It is unfortunate that some people still believe in the efficacy of these methods and are trying to repeat the old mistakes which will be meaningless and will prove counter-productive," she said.
The former chief minister said the leadership in the country and the opinion makers will have to rise above "partisan considerations and ideological differences" to address the "atmosphere of hate and intolerance" and rediscover the inclusive India which made Jammu and Kashmir to throw in its lot with the Union.
"The country has to annihilate the demon of communalism once and for all and this will have a salutary effect on Kashmir where people especially the youth are feeling increasingly alienated. We still hope that the country can become a land whose sweetness would scatter all around the world and whose moral courage would mark a new chapter in the history of human civilisation," Mehbooba said.
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