Peoples Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti on Monday described party deserters as “garbage” and blamed them for “pressuring” her to stitch together a coalition with BJP following the death of her father.
“After the death of my father (Mufti Mohammad Sayeed) I was not ready to form the government with BJP. I had put some conditions including the return of power projects, vacating of Tattoo ground Anantnag high ground and Kargil ground (by the army). These people went to Nagpur (headquarters of RSS) where they told them to leave Mehbooba Mufti and they are ready to form the government,” Mehbooba told reporters on the sidelines of a function on the third death anniversary of the Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.
“My position was weakened as a result of which the BJP which was ready to concede to their demands,” she said.
Earlier, addressing workers Mehbooba invited the youth of Jammu and Kashmir “who are educated and interested in the resolution of the Kashmir issue” to come and join the PDP. “All the garbage in the party has gone out with the wind,” Mehbooba said while alluding to party rebels.
The former chief minister asked the youth to help her to take the state “out of this misery”.
Mehbooba, while defending her recent visit to the family of a slain militant in Pulwama, she wanted to send across a message that the families of the militants shouldn’t be harassed.
“A girl was being harassed there, it was a question of her honour. I thought my visit to the family would send a message to the government that if we have to fight the militants we don’t have to harass their families,” she said.
The PDP has been facing a rebellion since BJP withdrew support to the party in Jammu and Kashmir in June last year.
A section of PDP leaders has revolted against Mehbooba Mufti’s leadership, accusing her of nepotism and favouritism.
Prominent among those who openly rebelled against the PDP are former finance minister Haseeb Drabu, former law minister Basharat Bukhari, former minister Javed Mustafa Mir, influential Shia leader Imran Ansari, his uncle Abid Ansari, former MLAs Tangmarg Mohammad Abbas Wani and Peer Mohammad Hussain.
Mehbooba also apologized for a “toffee ” remarks she made in 2016 about the local youths.
“I was concerned about my children being pushed to rallies where they get injured. Didn’t I have this right to tell these children in a loud voice that you were a part of my rallies, why were you asked to stand in front of the protest demonstrations where you, God forbid, get injured. Still, I apologize. What else can I do?”