BJP unhappy with Mehbooba Mufti’s flag remarks

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti during a conference "Understanding Kashmir" A Composite dialogue on peace, stabililty and the way forward, in New Delhi on Friday.   | Photo Credit: R.V. Moorthy

Expressing shock and surprise over its ally and Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s flag remarks, the BJP on Saturday asserted that Article 35-A of the Constitution which grants special status to the State is “not a sacred cow that cannot be touched“.

The State unit of the BJP said that while the party stands by the Agenda of Alliance with the PDP and won’t seek alteration of existing constitutional position, “it is equally true that Article 35-A has done more harm to the State than any other provision of law.”

The biggest challenge before the State is to save the Sufi ethos of Kashmir’s culture which are facing an assault from separatism and Islamic fundamentalism in the Valley, it said.

The party said all efforts of the State government and the Kashmiri people should be towards the protection of the these humane values and identity, instead of raking issues of Article 35-A and Article 370 which have led to inequalities and have retarded the State’s growth due to “self-isolation“.

“We are greatly shocked and surprised by the statement of Mehbooba that by challenging Article 35-A, the nationalist forces in the Valley get weakened and that... India will not get a shoulder to carry its national flag in the State”, BJP State spokesperson Virender Gupta told reporters.

“Article 370 was incorporated in Indian Constitution as a temporary provision. It (Article 35-A and Article 370) is not a sacred cow that cannot be touched,” he said.

Mehbooba Mufti, on Friday, asked at a function in New Delhi “who is doing it? Why are they doing it? (challenging the Article 35-A). Let me tell you that my party and other parties who carry the national flag there (in Jammu and Kashmir) despite all risks.... I have no doubt in saying that there will be no one to hold it (national flag) (if it is tinkered).”

Referring to militancy and fundamentalism, the BJP said “these challenges are extremely great than what these leaders, in particular the separatists, perceive, i.e. the removal of Article 35 or Article 370”.

Sunil Sethi, chief spokesperson of State BJP, said the CM’s remarks on Article 35-A do not depict the true picture and are politically incorrect. He said that bearing the national flag in the State is an honour for all citizens and the party firmly believes that every person of the State is first an Indian and then a State subject.

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Printable version | Apr 15, 2021 11:06:31 AM |

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