Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti has said that she will not contest the assembly elections until Article 370 is implemented again.
She said, “I will not contest elections until Article 370 is implemented again. When I took the oath of membership of the House, it was under two constitutions, the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir and the Constitution of India, together under two flags. Maybe it sounds stupid, but this is an emotional issue for me.”
The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister also said that assembly elections are not happening in the Union Territory as the Centre is “scared” that if there is an elected government, then it will not be able to pursue its “hidden agenda”.
The Centre in 2019 had abrogated Article 370, which granted special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, and divided it into two Union Territories – Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.
Mehbooba was referring to the separate Constitution and the flag that Jammu and Kashmir had under its special status.
Asked whether the parties in the Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), an amalgam seeking the restoration of Article 370, would contest the assembly elections as an alliance, she said it was too early to say that.
“We have never really discussed whether we are going to contest elections together or separately. Unless and until we sit together… only then we can talk about it,” she said.
On the central government’s claims of restoration of democracy in Jammu and Kashmir, Mehbooba asked if panchayat polls are the real test of democracy, why does the country have the posts of prime minister and home minister. Panchayat cannot be a substitute to the assembly, she said.