PDP Would Lead Efforts to Restore JK's Dignity: Party Leader

Jammu, Nov 4 (PTI) Demanding release of detained political leaders including its president Mehbooba Mufti, People's Democratic Party (PDP) on Monday said the party would be at the forefront of the efforts to "restore the dignity" of Jammu and Kashmir.

It also accused the BJP of pursuing a "vindictive approach" against opponents and said the PDP would support its detained president to get J&K out of the "morass of uncertainty and chaos".

Mehbooba and almost the entire political leadership of the erstwhile J&K state including former chief ministers Farooq Abdullah and his son Omar Abdullah are under detention in Srinagar since August 5, the day the Centre announced the abrogation of Article 370 provisions and the decision.

"The PDP will play its role in the forefront to strive for the restoration of the dignity that has been snatched away from Jammu and Kashmir. It is ironic to find how Jammu and Kashmir has been turned into a non-entity with no powers vested in the legislature and democratically-elected representatives in the assembly," PDP General Secretary and former legislator Ved Mahajan told reporters at the party headquarters here.

Flanked by over a dozen party leaders, Mahajan said handing overall powers of the once-princely state to a New Delhi-appointed bureaucrat could prove "apocalyptic" for J-K's future and would be the heaviest blow to all the confidence building measures taken since 1947 to rebuild peoples trust in the institutions of democracy and fair play.

Referring to his party president Mehbooba Mufti, he said, "Her aged mother suffering from various ailments is alone at her home. Even the landline service has not been restored to her home and Mehbooba is yet to speak to her mother," he said.

In the detention centre, he claimed that PDP president is being restrained from moving outside even for a walk and that the party is extremely worried over her health.

"Due to severe cold conditions at the place where Mehbooba has been detained since August 5, we are afraid that her health could deteriorate if immediate attention is not paid to this issue," he said.

"The saner voices in the party today are united like ever before. Those finding green pastures on the other side of the fence are most welcome to bid adieu. They shall not be in anyway coerced to stay back," he said.

Mahajan demanded the government to allow the party leadership to meet its incarcerated president so that they could decide the future course of action.

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