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Could not sit silent after my workers were insulted: Mehbooba Mufti on PDP’s decision to contest LS polls

Srinagar, April 7: Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) President and former J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday said that her party’s decision to contest the Lok Sabha elections was made inevitable by the statements of National Conference Vice President, Omar Abdullah.

Addressing the media here after the party’s parliamentary board announced her candidature for the Anantnag-Rajouri seat, she said: “If the NC wanted to fight all the 3 seats in the Valley, we would not have opposed that decision. What hurt our workers was that when NC Vice President, Omar Abdullah went public to announce his party’s decision to fight all 3 Valley Lok Sabha seats, they did not even bother to inform us.”

“Instead of that, Omar Sahib said that the PDP is a spent force. He even said his party would watch our conduct before deciding on any future electoral alignment with us. Is this the language you use against a party that has been your partner in the PAGD? We never use such language against Omar Sahib,” she added.

She will face Mian Altaf Ahmad of the NC and former Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad of the Democratic Progressive Azad Party (DPAP) in the constituency.

Mehbooba Mufti said that for her, standing in the elections is not an attractive proposition, but the way her workers have been hurt, she had no other option.

She alleged that her senior party leaders had been taken away one by one and all that she was left with were the poor ground-level workers who were the main strength of her party.

“How could I take insult to them lying down and doing nothing?” she asked.

Mehbooba Mufti added that an election is a battle of ideas and she had nothing personal against those fighting elections against her party candidates.

She said that her PDP has decided to support the Congress in the Jammu division because of, what she termed, the “extremely tough times the nation is facing this time”.

The PDP also nominated its youth leader, Waheed Para, from the Srinagar seat and former Rajya Sabha member, Fayaz Mir, for the Baramulla Lok Sabha seat.

The BJP has not yet announced its candidates for any of the 3 Lok Sabha seats in the Valley.

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