Democratic space being encroaching upon by Governor: Mehbooba Mufti

Former Chief Minister and Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti on Friday accused Governor Satya Pal Malik of “encroaching upon democratic space” and threatened to launch an agitation if the Chenab valley and Pir Panjal area were not accorded divisional status, as apparently proposed for Ladakh.

She alleged that the way the Governor’s administration was issuing orders, it appeared that “somebody’s hidden agenda is being implemented through the backdoor.”
“So many orders have been issued which are against the interests of J&K. We had expectations from the Governor, who has served as a politician, that he would be overcautious given the sensitivities of J&K. Unfortunately, everyday some order is issued which is creating insecurity among people. Barring few, all political parties are worried,” Mehbooba said while addressing a press conference in Srinagar.

“Some days back there was talk about making J&K Bank a PSU. Then there was talk about changing the procedure for state subject certificate and then the Roshni Act was repealed, impacting poor Gujjars and Bakerwals.”

Mehbooba said there was no emergency for the orders being issued by the Governor. “We respect the Governor, but why is he encroaching on democratic space? There was no emergency for these orders. Such decisions could have waited for the elections and the government to be formed. It seems somebody’s hidden agenda is being implemented through the backdoor,” she said.

Mehbooba said there was also talk about Ladakh being given the status of a division. “There is Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council in Leh and Kargil. I request the Governor and parties like the National Conference and Congress to demand division status for the Chenab valley and Pir Panjal too, if they have thought about Ladakh,” she said.

“If the Governor decides on divisional status for Ladakh but not for the Chenab valley and Pir Panjal then we will be forced to agitate in a peaceful manner.” On Haseeb Drabu leaving the party, she said it was unfortunate. “Ahead of elections, people do enter and leave political parties,” she said.