Farmers’ stir will impact BJP’s poll prospects: Mehbooba Mufti

PDP chief terms Centre’s claims about return of normalcy in Kashmir ‘a hollow slogan’

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti on Monday said the current agitation of farmers would impact the BJP’s poll prospects in the near future.

“We see farmers agitating on the streets from the last one year. Many have sacrificed their lives and committed suicide. It does not impact the ruling regime. Is this not a display of pride? I believe times will change. In the end, farmers, facing distress, will have an impact. The recent poll results from different States are already showing that people are expressing their anger. The BJP has to bite the reality one day,” Ms. Mufti told journalists in Srinagar.

She termed the Centre’s claims about return of normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir “a hollow slogan”.

“Hundreds of youths were arrested during the Union Home Minister’s visit recently. More CRPF battalions are being brought in. If the situation has improved in Jammu and Kashmir, why such drastic steps? The ground situation belies the Government’s claims. The BJP is a party that believes in ‘jumlas’,” she said.

Ms. Mufti accused the Government of acting as judge and jury while terminating the services of local government employees.

“We saw two employees from Bijbehara terminated from service recently. Many were removed from service without providing any chance to defend themselves in courts. This regime is acting as judge and jury,” she alleged.

The former Chief Minister said people were being silenced by force in Kashmir and the “same silence was projected as normalcy”.

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