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Mehbooba Mufti criticises National Conference

By Onkar Singh in New Delhi
Last updated on: September 14, 2005 15:03 IST
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Mehbooba Mufti, president of Kashmir's ruling People's Democratic Party, called the National Conference a party of opportunists, who are desperate to get back to power. This, she says, is why they reiterate that Jammu and Kashmir would soon go to polls and there would be realignment of forces before the state assembly elections.

"I have been following the statements of former chief minister Dr Farooq Abdullah and his son, Omar Abdullah, the president of the National Conference. At one stage Dr Abdullah told his partymen that he would make the present government collapse like pack of cards. Now Omar is talking about early elections," she told over the phone from Srinagar.

Mufti believes that the NC will woo the Congress if they feel they cannot come back to power without it. On the other hand, if the National Democratic Alliance becomes powerful, they would desert the Congress to rejoin it. "Remember when Omar Abdullah said that the coalition with the Congress was a mistake after his father fell out with them," she said.

Asked about the significance of Rahul Gandhi and Omar Abdullah meeting in New Delhi recently, Mufti said the media was giving unnecessary importance to such a meeting. "Both are Members of Parliament and hence, they would meet each other occasionally," she said.

She denied the reports that Chief Minister Sayeed would refuse to hand over power to the Congress on November 2. "This is an agreement and we would honour our commitment that the PDP got the chief ministership for the first three years," she said.

She ridiculed Omar Abdullah for getting desparate in his bid to come back to power. "He cannot digest that the coalition government is working so well and has achieved so much in the last three years."

Mufti reiterated that though the NC has been 'spoonfeeding their cadre with the dreams of return of power by 2008 in one go and holding of early elections in the state at another point of time', the coalition government is 'going to continue'.

More news: J&K

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Onkar Singh in New Delhi