Three leaders quit PDP over Mehbooba’s tri-colour comment

The leaders said they were "feeling quite uncomfortable over some of her actions and undesirable utterances especially which hurt patriotic sentiments"

Mehbooba Mufti, Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah, National Conference, PDP, Kashmir issue
Mehbooba Mufti was released in October this year, 14 months after she was detained along with other prominent Kashmiri leaders when the Centre abrogated Article 370 and split the state into two Union territories on August 5, last year.

People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leader Mehbooba Mufti’s acerbic comments on the national flag after her recent release from detention have not gone down well with some within her own party. Three leaders — TS Bajwa, Ved Mahajan and Hussain A Waffa — on Monday quit PDP saying her remarks had “hurt patriotic sentiments”.

Mehbooba Mufti, a former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, was released earlier this month after 14 months in detention under the Public Safety Act (PSA).

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The leaders wrote a letter to Mehbooba, saying they were “feeling quite uncomfortable over some of her actions and undesirable utterances especially which hurt patriotic sentiments”.

Mehbooba Mufti was among the many leaders detained in Jammu and Kashmir when the Modi government ended its special status under Article 370 and divided it into two Union Territories.

Mehbooba Mufti recently said she was not interested in contesting elections or holding the Indian flag until the constitutional changes enforced on August 5 last year were rolled back. She demanded Jammu and Kashmir’s separate flag be restored.

Also read: Farooq to lead Gupkar alliance, Mehbooba to be vice-chairperson

The BJP in Jammu and Kashmir held a “Tiranga (flag) march” on Monday in protest Mehbooba’s comments. The flag marches – one in Srinagar and another in Jammu – featured bullet-proof cars flying the Indian flag and accompanied by police jeeps.

Mehbooba Mufti is one of the signatories to the “People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration” led by National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah. The alliance of Jammu and Kashmir parties was stitched to fight for the restoration of Article 370.

Farooq Abdullah’s National Conference (NC) too distanced itself from Mehbooba Mufti’s controversial remark on the national flag.

“Jammu-based NC leaders raised concern over Mehbooba Mufti’s remarks in our meeting with Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah. They have assured us that no statement will be made by any Gupkar Alliance leader that harms the nation’s interests,” NC leader Devender Singh Rana told India Today TV recently.

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