PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti's daughter Iltija campaigns for mother, says Srinagar voting good sign

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Poonch/Jammu, May 15 (PTI) PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti's daughter Iltija Mufti on Wednesday said the people of Jammu and Kashmir, voting in "numbers" in the elections for the Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency to express their sentiments, is a good sign.

Iltija Mufti conducted road shows in the Union Territory's Poonch district to garner support for her mother who is a candidate from Anantpur-Rajouri constituency.

Without naming any party, Iltija Mufti said there are some who are spreading hatred and pitching one community against another.

Referring to the voter turnout of nearly 38 per cent in the May 13 polling in Srinagar Lok Sabha elections, which was the second highest in three decades, she said, "The people are unhappy with the illegal and unconstitutional decisions of August 2019 (when Article 370 was abrogated and the erstwhile state was bifurcated into two UTs) and voted in numbers to express their sentiment which, I think, is a very good sign." "I have not come here to seek votes on the basis of sentiments as (PDP patron and former chief minister) (late) Mufti Mohammad Sayeed had worked a lot for the upliftment of the region by ensuring opening of the Mughal road - an alternate link which connects Poonch and Rajouri with south Kashmir’s Shopian," she said, reminding the people about opening of hospitals, degree colleges and a university for the benefit of the local population.

In an apparent reference to the BJP, she said those who want to lecture the party on nationalism should know that it was the PDP founder who first picked up the Indian flag in his hands when he was in the Congress.

"We know what it means to be an Indian by the core of the heart," Iltija Mufti, who is scheduled to hold road shows at Mendhar on May 16 and Surankote on May 17, said.

She met the Sikh community while conducting road shows in Poonch which is a part of the Anantnag parliamentary seat going to polls on May 25.

The fate of 20 candidates, including People's Democratic Front's Mehbooba Mufti, a former chief minister who is facing major challenge from National Conference (NC) leader Mian Altaf and J&K Apni Party contestant Zafar Iqbal Manhas, will be decided in the elections.

"I have come here with a message of positivity, peace and hope," Iltija Mufti, who was appointed by the PDP as the media adviser to Mehbooba Mufti last year, told reporters after meeting a Sikh delegation in Poonch town.

Launching her three-day election campaign to garner votes for her party by holding a road show in different areas including Mandi tehsil, Iltija said the youth are the future of Jammu and Kashmir and they should not be disappointed as "our party stands with them and will fight for their bright future". PTI TAS TAS KSS KSS

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