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NC Leader Urges Kashmir Mainstream to Resurge Against BJPs 'Aggression'

Anees Zargar |
Prominent JKNC leader Ruhullah Mehdi called for renewed efforts to launch a campaign in the region during an online exchange with Apni Party leader and Srinagar’s Mayor Junaid Azim Mattu.
J&K Syudent scholarship.

Srinagar: Prominent Jammu and Kashmir National Conference (JKNC) leader Ruhullah Mehdi on Tuesday urged the mainstream political parties to unite and start a movement in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh against the status quo imposed after the abrogation of the region’s special status in 2019.

The former cabinet minister in the erstwhile state of J&K called for renewed efforts to launch a campaign in the region during an online exchange with Apni Party leader and Srinagar’s Mayor Junaid Azim Mattu that began in the backdrop of a recent interview of former J&K governor Satya Pal Malik. The governor made several dramatic revelations about his role and the role of the Central government in the ‘mishandling’ of the region, including the circumstances in which Articles 370 and 35 A were abrogated arbitrarily.

The alleged claims made by Malik during the interview, which raised serious doubts about the ruling party Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its leadership, Mehdi said, indicated the “murder of democracy” in Jammu and Kashmir. He has since urged the political parties, including NC, to start a signature campaign.

These parties have human resources and cadre to do it. They should campaign in all three regions of Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh and go to people. Speak to them, and take the signatures. Take those signatures in the shape of a fresh plea to SC. Send a copy to the Parliament. Take it to all the CMs of all States,” Mehdi wrote on Twitter.

Mehdi, a former MLA from Budgam, said that he would not give “legitimacy” to an Assembly post the repeal of special status by being part of it, adding that he had advised his party to forget about the electoral process and start a movement instead.

I don’t see it as a struggle to establish anything; I see it as a struggle for collective survival. So it has to be a collective effort. Let the already established political parties take the lead and start the movement and campaign,” he added.

The Shi’a leader, one of the most critical voices in the mainstream against the BJP’s actions in the region, said that he was “disappointed” with the NC after feeling that the party could not respond to the August 5 “aggression” properly. Calling it an opportunity, Mehdi added that he would reach out to his party again. He resigned from the post of NC’s chief spokesperson in July 2020.

The only prerequisite that I would push for is; no association of any kind with BJP. You want to fight aggression they were the aggressors of. So, any individual or a party in the process has to shed off the other side,” he said.

During the exchange, Mayor Junaid Azim Mattu, affiliated with Apni Party, said he would follow Mehdi in the door-to-door signature campaign to restore the status stripped in 2019.

I, with all humility at my command, implore you to take the lead in the door-to-door signature campaign seeking the restoration of what was taken away. You will find me one step behind. Unequivocally and unambiguously so,” he tweeted.

The NC leader’s comments come when all the regional political parties have been demanding Assembly elections in the region, even in the absence of statehood. The People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) which was formed by the parties given the changes carried out by the government of India in August 2019, has lost gravitas.

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