‘Promise-bound’ to protect J&K special status: Mehbooba

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Defends present alliance, says J&K acceded to India that includes the BJP, Congress, the RSS 
KG News Desk
Anantnag, May 5: Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today said she would protect the special status guaranteed to Jammu and Kashmir under article 370 of the Constitution, as she was promise-bound and cannot betray the people.
“When we fight elections, be it BJP or Congress or PDP, we take oath that we will protect the constitutions of India and J-K. So, we are promise-bound and we cannot betray. This is our identity and we have to protect it,” Mehbooba said here.
She was addressing a gathering before flagging-off four new DEMU trains between Banihal-Baramulla and Baramulla-Budgam in Kashmir Valley at Anantnag railway station.
Union Minister for Railways Suresh Prabhu flagged-off the trains through video-conferencing from Rail Bhawan in New Delhi.
Mehbooba said before taking oath as the chief minister, she was asked not to ally with the BJP, but she responded by saying that in 1947 the state had already acceded to the whole country, which included the saffron party.
“But what we have to see is how to protect our identity. Those things which the God has given us and the constitution of India has given to us, we have to protect them.
Recently, there was a conference in Delhi where Chief Justice and all the justices of the country were present. I told them only one thing that Jammu and Kashmir’s special position under Article 370 is part of Indian constitution,” she said.
The Chief Minister, however, said that for protecting the identity of the state, the impression that the situation in Jammu and Kashmir is very bad, needs to be changed.
“There are a lot of misconceptions about J-K. The girls in our state are safe compared to the rest of the country. The good things about Kashmir do not reach the people outside. The discussion is only about when someone pelts a stone or waves a flag.
I feel this (train) service is the start of the coming of good things,” she said.
Mehbooba Mufti also hit out at those blaming her party for aligning with the BJP in the state.
She said that before she took oath as the chief minister, some people had suggested that she should not continue with the alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party.
“I told them that in 1947, the state had acceded to the entire country that includes the BJP, the Congress, the RSS and the Communist parties,” she said.
Mehbooba Mufti said that at a recent conference in Delhi where the Chief Justice of India and other judges were present, she told them that the state’s special status was given under Article 370 of the Constitution, “and so it needs to be protected by all of us.
“There are a lot of misconceptions about Jammu and Kashmir. The people here are very nice and peaceful.”
She said girls in Jammu and Kashmir were “safer compared to the rest of the country.
“If four girls come to visit Kashmir on their own, they will see the whole Valley without any untoward incident taking place.
“But the people in our country do not know this. The good things about Kashmir do not reach people outside,” she lamented.
“The discussion is only about someone pelting a stone or waving a flag. I feel this (train) service is the start of good things and I want the hardship of the people to go.
“India is such a big country where democracy thrives, where different people live together. You see that more Hindus than Muslims visit Ajmer Sharif, the idols in famous temples are being made by Muslims of India.
Prabhu flags off 4 new trains in Valley 
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Thursday flagged off four new passenger trains on Banihal-Baramulla and Baramulla-Budgam routes in Kashmir Valley via video conferencing here.
With the addition of four new trains, the total number of trains running in the valley has increased to 30.
“It was Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s plan to flag off these trains but due to his bad health the plan got delayed. But I’m glad that his daughter Mehbooba Mufti is with us today to grace the occasion. Development of Jammu and Kashmir has always been the priority for our government and we will continue to do good work in the state,” Prabhu said.
Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti and Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh along with other government officials flagged off the train from Anantnag.
The rail line in the Kashmir Valley was constructed in phased manner. The 137-km-long line between Baramullah and Banihal has reduced travel time by more than half.
“Earlier it used take around five to six hours by road. But by train, the distance is covered in two and a half-hours”, Prabhu noted.
The train line between Katra in Jammu and Banihal in Kashmir is expected to be complete by 2020.
Omar questions NC MLAs exclusion from railway function 
Former Chief Minister Omar hits out at of party legislator’s exclusion from railway function
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah took exception to the exclusion of the legislator of his National Conference from at a train inauguration function in Anantnag district.
In his sharp criticism of the move to ignore his party member, Abdullah tweeted: “What a shame that the office bearer of a political party is a ‘guest of honour’ but the local MLA isn’t included.”
NC legislator from Homshalibugh constituency, Abdul Majeed Larmi, was reportedly not invited to a function in Anantnag where Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu inaugurated two new trains between Baramulla town in the Kashmir Valley and Bannihal town in the Jammu region.In another tweet, Abdullah said: “I remember Mufti Sahib (late chief minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed) being given a seat on the dais with (then prime minister) Dr. Manmohan Singh and (Congress chief) Mrs. (Sonia) Gandhi during my term even though it wasn’t his area.”
The additional trains inaugurated on Thursday would stop at only 10 stations between the two destinations in contrast to other trains moving between Baramulla and Bannihal those stop at 17 stations.