Sena asks: will Mehbooba Mufti chant ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’?

Updated - September 08, 2016 06:08 pm IST

Published - March 29, 2016 12:00 am IST - MUMBAI:

Leader of People's Democratic Party Mehbooba Mufti waves from a vehicle in Jammu on March 26, after attending a meeting with Governor NN Vohra. —file photo: AFP

Leader of People's Democratic Party Mehbooba Mufti waves from a vehicle in Jammu on March 26, after attending a meeting with Governor NN Vohra. —file photo: AFP

The Shiv Sena on Monday said that the questions raised by National Conference leader Omar Abdullah and AAP leaders — about whether Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister-designate Mehbooba Mufti will chant ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ — were legitimate.

“The BJP has never got along with Ms Mufti. Her anti-national statements and her affinity with separatists was always a contentious issue. She was openly sympathetic to Kashmiris who raised anti-India slogans. Therefore, the BJP may be pleased that Ms Mufti will become the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, but the country is worried,” an editorial in Sena mouthpiece Saamna said.

The editorial said in the context of the debate on nationalism, the questions raised by Mr Abdullah and some AAP leaders from Delhi have made the BJP uncomfortable. After AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi refused to chant ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’, the BJP said chanting the slogan represented nationalism.

“But, whether the next Chief Minister of a state will say ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ is a valid question. What is Ms Mufti’s stand on Parliament attacker Afzal Guru now? Ms Mufti and her party refuse to regard Guru a terrorist. Even today she wants that Guru’s remains be exhumed, and buried in Kashmir like a martyr. After taking oath as CM, will she shake off this awful thought or will she hold the reins of the new nationalism ideology?” asked the editorial. Reiterating its demand that Kashmiri Pandits be resettled in Kashmir, it said, “Kashmiri Pandits sacrificed their lives chanting ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’, and the new political dispensation is being formed on a ground stained with their blood. Hence there is nothing wrong if the country expects the new Chief Minister to say ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ before taking oath.”

The Sena has in the past taken strong exception to the BJP’s decision to ally with the PDP, describing it ‘politics of numbers’. “The kind of politics the BJP is indulged in will not only prove costly for the party, but will also land the country in trouble,” said an editorial in March 2015

“But, by crediting Pakistan and militants for the peaceful conduct of polls in Jammu and Kashmir, Mufti Mohammed Sayeed has insulted all of them (EC, people and army). Demanding the remains of Guru is nothing but treachery. Guru was an enemy of the nation. Showing sympathy towards him amounts to showing disregard for the Supreme Court’s verdict and the very legal system in the country,” the editorial had said.

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