Mehbooba urges people to vote for sending strong voice to parliament for safeguard of JK’s identity

Srinagar(Rajouri/Budhal),May 03: President Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mehbooba Mufti, on Friday reiterated her demand for the rollback of the decisions made on August 5, 2019, emphasizing that the people of Jammu and Kashmir stand united to safeguard their unique identity.
Addressing election rallies in Budhal Rajouri in which a huge number of people participated, Mehbooba said that the removal of special status was unacceptable to the people of Jammu and Kashmir irrespective of their creed, caste, or religion.

“Our identity was snatched. Our special status was snatched. This is unacceptable to us,” PDP President said in her address. She highlighted the concerns of various communities, including Ladakhis and Dogras, who feel marginalized and dispossessed by the changes imposed on the region. “People from Ladakh are protesting against what happened on August 5, 2019. Even the businessmen there feel that their lands are being snatched away, leaving them with nothing. Jammu’s Dogra community that earlier hoped that the abrogation of Article 370 would benefit it in some way is reeling over the removal of special status because people’s resources there are being taken away,” Mehbooba said.

The PDP President also criticized the suppression of dissent, citing the use of the Public Safety Act (PSA) against youth who dare to raise their voices against day-to-day issues. She pointed out economic disparities, such as the disproportionate hike in electricity prices in Jammu and Kashmir compared to other states, and urged the preservation of regional languages and culture. “Our electricity that we produce here is being provided free of charge in other states while it has been hiked 10 times here. How could the poor afford to pay such huge electricity dues? The administration is trying to present a different picture as if streams of milk are flowing everywhere in Jammu and Kashmir. The reality is frighteningly depressing. People are being disenchanted with each passing day. Silence of the graveyard has been enforced. I urge you not to allow assault on your unique identity. Those from the Dogra community should teach their kids to speak in Dogri, Gujjars should teach kids Gujari, Punjabis- Punjabi and Kashmiris- Kashmiri. Language keeps us connected to our roots. We must do everything whatever is in our hands to protect our identity,” Mehbooba said.

“This election is being fought for the protection of our core interests,” Mehbooba said, highlighting the historical achievements of the PDP during its tenure in government. “When PDP formed the Government for the first time back in 2002 with even mere 16 seats we created history. Those with more than 60 members in the assembly couldn’t build Mughal Road, couldn’t open Muzaffarabad Road, Poonch Rawalakot road, build Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University in decades long tenure.PDP did it,” Mehbooba said.

She contrasted her party’s record with that of its competitors, particularly the National Conference (NC), and called for a focus on broader issues beyond petty politics. “My main competitor here is from that party which couldn’t achieve anything in the past six decades for the Gujjar community. What PDP has done while being in government is known to one and all. The party [NC] claims to have fielded a candidate who hails from a Gujjar community. I respect my Gujjar brothers. The youth of this community are educated. Two months ago, NC accused the Gujjar community of being up for sale and taking money for their votes. Today, they [NC] presented the Gujjar leader. This is ironic. I respect Altaf Sahib [Mian Altaf Ahmad]. He used to study with me in college, but as they say, actions speak louder than words. The fact is that what work he is capable of doing, I may not be capable of the same, but what I can achieve cannot be accomplished by him. I don’t ridicule the National Conference, but we have to understand that this election transcends petty politics. It is about our identity; it is about sending a strong voice to the parliament. It is about telling the echelons of power in the parliament that irrespective of caste, creed, or religion, we are citizens of Jammu and Kashmir. This is our land, and we will protect our identity at all costs,” Mehbooba said in her address.

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