'Idea of replacing father uncomfortable': Mehbooba Mufti

'Idea of replacing father uncomfortable': Mehbooba Mufti

PDP president Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday said she does not want to think about the time she will succeed her father Mufti Mohammed Sayeed as the Jammu and Kashmir chief minister.

Speaking at a conference, Mehbooba said she was “uncomfortable” with the question despite the fact that Mufti has of late dropped hints on various occasions that she may replace him by hailing her role in building the party. Such a succession, he said, was “part of democracy”.

For the alliance partner, the BJP, the issue is not that simple. Party general secretary Ram Madhav, who played a crucial role in the coalition government formation, seemed unaware of any such move.

Not willing to talk about the issue, Madhav recently said that “It’s like asking whether Modi will remain PM for five years. Do you ask this question? He is elected prime minister, he will be there. He (Mufti) is elected chief minister (of PDP-BJP govt), he will be there.”

The BJP and PDP managed to evolve a working relationship, despite tides of upheavals in the ruling coalition, due to which it would not like Mufti to recede space to his daughter who is ideologically not very flexible.

At the newspaper summit, Mehbooba again reemphasised that “there is no fiddling with” Article 370 that provides special status to the Jammu and Kashmir.   

“If Kashmiris chose to be a part of democratic and secular India (in 1947), we need to be given something in return...We need to be treated special,”  and “if you give someone something, to snatch it away slowly is stealing. Article 370 only strengthens the bond with India,” she argued.

Though the BJP has been for abrogation of the special status granted to the state, it has, over the years, diluted its stand reflected in its 2014 general election manifesto where it said that it will discuss with stakeholders on the controversial topic.

‘No alternative’

She also welcomed the decision of the Modi government to send External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to Pakistan for a diplomatic meet.

According to her, there is no alternative than to adopt former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s approach to Pakistan.

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