Cong reminds Mehbooba of promise to quit

It says decision left to CM's conscience

Cong reminds Mehbooba of promise to quit

A day after the Centre made it clear that there will be no talks with the  separatists in Kashmir, 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 Centre has made its decision and it is up to the chief minister to decide what to do next. She had promised to resign in case the dialogue is not held,” state Congress chief G A Mir told DH.

Now that the Centre has recorded its statement in writing in the apex court, it is up to Mehbooba’s conscience to decide the future course of action, he said.

The Centre informed the Supreme Court on Friday that a dialogue to restore normalcy in Kashmir will only be held with legally recognised stakeholders and political parties.

Making its stand clear, the Union government had said that there will not be any talks with the separatists or those raising slogans such as “accession or Azadi”.

‘Can have opinions’
National Conference general secretary Ali Muhammad Sagar said the government of India must not play politics when it comes to holding dialogue with the separatist leaders, as they too can have opinions.
He said that former central governments, including the previous BJP government, had held dialogues with separatists.

‘Who is lying?’
“The chief minister recently said the prime minister had assured that talks will be initiated, but after the Centre’s recent statement, I am unable to tell who is lying,” he said.

Sagar said not conducting dialogue will further alienate 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.

‘Part of democracy’
Senior CPM leader and Kulgam MLA Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami said that holding talks with dissenting citizens is the very essence of democracy.

Expressing dismay and surprise at the stand taken by the attorney general in the apex court, he said, “New Delhi’s stand that it will talk only when there is peace is similar to a doctor telling a patient that treatment will only be provided if he gets well first. Hearing out the dissenters and holding dialogue is the only option.”

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