PDP chief and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s comment on the national flag has snowballed into a major controversy with BJP holding a Tiranga Yatra on Monday and three PDP leaders tendering their resignation after being ‘hurt’ by her statement.
In her first public appearance since her release from detention on Friday, Mehbooba had said she would not fly the Indian flag until the August 5 changes were rolled back. Calling the Centre “robbers”, she demanded that Jammu and Kashmir’s separate flag be restored.
Those who severed ties with PDP include TS Bajwa, Ved Mahajan and Hussain A Waffa. Blaming Mehbooba for their decision, they said they feel quite uncomfortable over her undesirable utterances especially which hurt patriotic sentiments.
Jammu: PDP leader Ved Mahajan resigned from the party today.
He says, “Our national flag is our pride. We have been hurt by her statement. Today, we have shown the people of Jammu and Kashmir that we are secular. There are many party leaders and workers who may resign.” https://t.co/88s2n1etvJ pic.twitter.com/BBRheo9NiS
— ANI (@ANI) October 26, 2020
“We are feeling quite uncomfortable over some of your actions and undesirable utterances especially which hurt patriotic sentiments,” read a letter to Mufti signed by three leaders.
The nation and the national flag comes first, after that comes the States and the political parties. The national flag is our identity: PDP leader Hussain A Waffa who resigned from the party today, in Jammu pic.twitter.com/TcUz14VsAF
— ANI (@ANI) October 26, 2020
“Instead of overcoming the challenges from within and outside by a process of broader consultations and trust, some elements within the party pulling the party and leadership in a particular direction, thus deviating from the basic principles, agenda and philosophy, making it difficult to face the saner voices in the society,” it said.
Mufti’s comment sparked a controversial row and again gained a lot of backlash from political leaders across the spectrum.
Condemning former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti over her flag remark, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar on Monday said the tricolor is the identity and honour of our country. “I condemn the remark of Mehbooba Mufti. Disrespect for the tricolour is unacceptable. The tricolour is our honour and the identity of India,” Javadekar tweeted.
महबूबा मुफ्ती के बयानों की हम भर्त्सना करते हैं। तिरंगे का अपमान बिल्कुल अस्वीकार्य है। तिरंगा भारत की शान है, तिरंगा भारत की पहचान है।
— Prakash Javadekar (@PrakashJavdekar) October 26, 2020
Activists from Shiv Sena Dogra Font and ABVP (BJP’s youth wing) took out protests in Jammu against Mufti for her remarks. Protests turned ugly with ABVP members and other activists making attempts to unfurl the national flag at the PDP office. After being stopped by the police from hoisting the Tricolour at the office, protestors accumulated outside PDP’s Jammu office.
Addressing a press conference on October 23, Mufti had last week slammed the Central government over the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution, which conferred special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, and said she will only raise the tricolour when the “flag of Jammu and Kashmir” is brought back.
The National Conference meanwhile meanwhile distanced itself from Mehbooba’s controversial remark on the national flag.
Mehbooba is a member of the “People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration”, a grouping of parties in Jammu and Kashmir to fight for restoration of Article 370. The People’s Alliance on Saturday named NC leader Farooq Abdullah as its chairman and Mehbooba as its deputy chairperson.
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