Image: Mehbooba Mufti (PTI)
Describing the Karnataka Assembly poll results as a "ray of hope", PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti said and hoped that the rest of the country will also reject "communal politics" and vote for its development and prosperity.
Mufti's remarks came after the Congress emerged as the clear winner in the electoral battle in Karnataka. According to the latest trends on the Election Commission's (EC) website, the Congress was striding forward in 136 of the 224 Assembly seats in the southern state.
"The BJP tried its best to communalise the situation as is their habit. They even brought Bajrangbali, religion, Hindu-Muslim to the discourse. The prime minister tried to take the discourse on religious lines. Despite that, people kept these issues on the sidelines and chose the issue of development on which the Congress ran its campaign," the former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister told reporters here.
Mufti said be it Rahul Gandhi or Priyanka Gandhi Vadra or other Congress leaders, they built a narrative around development, employment and welfare schemes, and people voted for that.
"It is good news because the general elections are to take place the next year," the People's Democratic Party (PDP) president added.
She said while the democratic values of the country and the idea of brotherhood were being attacked, "a ray of hope is being seen from Karnataka today".
"I hope people across the country will also reject communal politics and vote for the country's development and prosperity," Mufti said.
She said the people of Karnataka have sent a good message that they do not want to get into the Hindu-Muslim debate and vote in the name of gods, but over issues of unemployment, price rise and other developmental concerns.
To a question on recent political developments in Pakistan, the PDP president said the situation in the neighbouring country is very bad.
"But it is Pakistan's fortune that institutions there like the judiciary or the media are playing their role well and making the government answerable.... The courts are trying to maintain the roles of the institutions. I think the situation there is a matter of concern for India.... But if anything can take Pakistan out of this morass, it is these institutions," she said.
Asked about the preparations for the G20 event scheduled to take place in the Kashmir valley later this month, Mufti said people are being put to inconvenience in the name of the preparations.
"The preparations are on across the country, which is a good thing. But the oppression happening in Jammu and Kashmir, especially in the valley, in the name of G20 -- arrests, crackdowns, searches, frisking ... the roads in Srinagar were dug just to show that development is taking place -- this has caused agony to people," she said.
"The locals here are put to inconvenience just to welcome people from outside. I think the aim of G20 is to sell Kashmir, which they think is a trophy they got after 2019 (when the Centre abrogated Article 370 of the Constitution) and want to showcase that everything is alright, but (actually) nothing is alright here," the PDP chief said.
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