Jammu, Sept 20: Jammu and Kashmir BJP president Ravinder Raina on Tuesday accused PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti of “poisioning young minds” for vested political interests after she objected to students being compelled to sing ‘Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram,’ news agency PTI reported.
The former chief minister had on Monday posted a video on Twitter in which school staff were seen asking students to recite the hymn, considered Mahatma Gandhi’s favourite bhajan, and termed it the government’s real “Hindutva agenda”.
“Jailing religious scholars, shutting down Jama Masjid & directing school kids here to sing Hindu hymns exposes the real hindutva agenda of GOI in Kashmir, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief had said in the tweet.
Reacting to her remarks, Raina said she should avoid playing such politics by “poisoning the young minds”.
“Mahatma Gandhi united the whole nation by this bhajan during the freedom struggle. The school children also sing ‘lab pe aati hai dua banke tamanna meri… (my heart’s desire comes to my lips as a prayer) in their morning assembly and there was no objection from anyone,” Raina said.
Talking to reporters on the sidelines of a free medical camp organised by the party here under ‘Sewa Pakhwada’, he said some people deliberately create such controversies for their vested political interests.
“Mehbooba should avoid playing such type of politics. She has lost her ground in Kashmir and people of the Valley rejected her. She is coming out with such a conspiracy (to regain her place),” he said.
“This country belongs to all of us, the people of all faiths — Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians and others. Mehbooba should read more often Allama Iqbal’s ‘mazhab nahin sikhata aapas mein bair rakhna’ (religion does not teach us to fight)…,” the BJP leader said.
On the reopening of cinema halls in Kashmir after over three decades, Raina quipped, “This is the beginning of a new era. Our youngsters in the Valley have only heard the sounds of bombs and bullets and are deprived of all entertainment available to their counterparts in other parts of the country.”
“The people will have an enjoyable experience with the opening of multiplexes,” he added.
Raina also thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha for declaring the last Dogra ruler Maharaja Hari Singh’s birth anniversary on September 23 as an annual holiday.
He said the BJP is “working overtime” to resolve the issues in Jammu and Kashmir and the problems faced by daily wage workers. PTI
Robber of 1987 should be ashamed to talk about rigging of elections: Sajad Lone
Describing National Conference president Dr. Farooq Abdullah as the robber of 1987, Peoples Conference president Sajad Gani Lone on Wednesday said that his statement on the interference of institutions in J&K’s electoral process is an insult to thousands of Kashmiris killed after rigging of 1987 polls.
Talking to reporters on the sidelines of a business function here, Lone, as per the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) said that Farooq Abdullah has no right to talk about the rigging of elections in Jammu & Kashmir.
“Farooq Abdullah is a senior politician. He should leave the role of talking about the interference of institutions in the electoral process to us as we have been victims of rigging and he has been a benefactor,” Lone said when asked questions about Farooq Abdullah’s recent statement about interference in elections.
He said the robber of the 1987 elections should be ashamed to talk about rigging or interference in elections.
“We have been victims of rigging. My father was the victim. One lakh Kashmiris are in graves after the electoral rigging of 1987,” he said, adding that there has been interference in J&K elections.
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Lone demanded an inquiry into the leakage of the list of 56 government employees posted in Kashmir Valley.
“If it is a state secret, it should be looked into how the list was leaked,” he said.
Farooq Abdullah re-elected unopposed as NC president
Dr Farooq Abdullah was on Monday re-elected unopposed as president of the National Conference.
The party presidential polls were held today at party head office Nawa-e-Subh in Srinagar.
NC spokesperson, Imran Nabi Dar told the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that Dr Farooq was re-elected unopposed as party president.
Drugmulla DDC election: PC seeks votes for PDP’s symbol; PDP campaigns against its own symbol
The election in the Drugmulla district development council (DDC) seat, which will witness polling on Monday, is being dubbed as a semi-final between National Conference and Peoples Conference in the north Kashmir’s Kupwara district before the first assembly election of Jammu & Kashmir Union Territory, which could be held in 2023 or 2024.
Considered arch-rivals, National Conference and Peoples Conference had allied together in the district development council (DDC) polls in 2020, but the latter had parted ways with the amalgam, accusing the former of fielding proxy candidates on the seats allotted to it as part of the pre-poll pact.
In this election, PC is supporting Shabnam Lone, who had filed nomination papers as PDP candidate in 2020. After the State Election commissioner announced the schedule for re-poll on November 16, 2022, PDP distanced itself from Shabnam and wrote to the J&K election commissioner to withdraw the “inkpot and pen” symbol allotted to her, news agency KNO reported.
PC also approached the authorities to change her symbol, but the authorities conveyed to them that it cannot be done, as the date for withdrawal of nominations had closed nearly two years ago. November 23, 2020 was the last date for withdrawal of candidature for the seat.
In the past two weeks, senior PC leaders Mir Muhammad Fayaz and Bashir Ahmad Dar were seeking votes for “inkpot and pen” which is the official symbol of PDP.
Both NC and PDP are supporting separate candidates in the election despite being constituents of the Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD).
In the polls, National Conference leaders Choudhary Muhammad Ramzan and Mir Saifullah campaigned for advocate Aminah, who had filed nomination papers as an independent candidate in 2020.
Interestingly, Peoples Democratic Party is backing Rifat Wani, who is also contesting as an independent candidate.
Apni Party, Congress BJP candidates are also contesting polls in the seat.
An official said that ten candidates are in the fray.
“We have set up 42 polling stations in the seat, “he said.
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