After Centre's refusal, Congress reminds Mehbooba of her 'step down' promise

After Centre's refusal, Congress reminds Mehbooba of her 'step down' promise

A day after Centre made it clear that there will no talks with Kashmiri separatists, the opposition Congress reminded Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti of her promise to step down in case New Delhi refuses to talk to all stakeholders.

“The Central government has given its decision on the topic and it is upto the Chief Minister to decide what to do next. She had recently announced she would resign in case the dialogue will not be held,” State Congress chief G A Mir told Deccan Herald.

He said that it is up to the political conscious of Mehbooba to decide future course of action. “She must keep her word by stepping down as government of India recorded its statement in writing in the apex court,” Mir said.

The Centre informed the Supreme Court on Friday that a dialogue to restore normalcy in Kashmir was possible with the legally recognised stakeholders or political parties only. The union government made its stand clear and reiterated that there will not be any talks with separatists or those raising slogans of "accession or Azadi" in Jammu and Kashmir.

National Conference General Secretary, Ali Muhammad Sagar said the government of India must not play politics and hold dialogue with the separatist leaders as they are also having an opinion. He said that previous central governments, including the BJP, had held dialogues with separatists.

“Closing channels to resolve the issue by not talking with the separatists is a wrong move. The chief Minister had recently said that the Prime Minister assured her that the talks will be initiated but after Centre’s statement (in the apex court), I am unable to understand who is lying,” he said.

Sagar said closing the dialogite option will further alienate the people. “The government is playing politics over the bodies of the soldiers, which is not good. The focus of the government must remain on resolving the issue through a peaceful dialogue with all the stakeholders,” he said.

Senior CPM leader and MLA Kulgam, Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami said that holding talks with voices of dissent is the essence of democracy. Expressing dismay and surprise over the stand taken by Attorney General of India in the apex court, he said, “New Delhi’s stand that it will talk only when there is peace is similar to a doctor asking a patient to get well first and then he will treat him. Hearing the voices of dissent and holding dialogue with them is the only option.”

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