Ladies always take time: Farooq Abdullah on Mehbooba Mufti delaying govt formation

New Delhi: National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah on Saturday said PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti should be given more time to decide on government formation in Jammu and Kashmir, which is currently under Governer’s rule following the death of her father Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, who had headed a PDP-BJP coalition government.

“One cannot say what is going to happen tomorrow; let her take time, ladies always take time, many times they take a long time,” Abdullah, who is a former chief minister of J-K, said in a session on Kashmir at the Delhi Gymkhana Club’s first ‘Literature and Ideas’ festival here.

Mehbooba refused to take oath of office during the period of mourning for her father, who died on January 7 with the state being placed under Governor’s rule the day after.

Since then, the PDP chief has put off the decision on government formation, saying the Centre needs to take steps for implementation of the ‘Agenda of Alliance’ agreed to by the two parties.

Abdullah said Mehbooba has to consider there will be elections in the state eventually. “Let us wait and give her total support; if that is given to her maybe she will do well. Why not? And then we will decide what we will do after that,” he said.

Abdullah said it was paramount to “keep the state safe and united and strengthen the nation because if one of the limbs of the nation is weak, the nation cannot survive”.

The NC leader was in conversation with former RAW chief AS Dulat, who said it was time the PDP leader took on the chief minister’s mantle. Referring to Pakistan, he said that the Pakistani Army holds a grudge against India for aiding the formation of Bangladesh in the 1971 War.

Abdullah said notwithstanding the various groups who try to disrupt peace in India for their vested interests, it is essential to continue the dialogue with Pakistan and convert the LoC into an international border. “We should not break the dialogue because that is the only way we can defeat these organisations,” he said.

Asked by Dulat whether, if elected the next chief minister of J-K, he would have a Kashmiri Pandit as his deputy, Abdullah said, “Why not? What should stop him? He is part of the land.”