Three leaders today quit Mehbooba Mufti’s People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Jammu and Kashmir saying her remarks had “hurt patriotic sentiments”.
PDP leaders TS Bajwa, Ved Mahajan and Hussain A Waffa sent resignation letters to party chief Mehbooba Mufti, who was released earlier this month after 14 months in detention under the Public Safety Act (PSA).
The leaders, in their letter, said they were “feeling quite uncomfortable over some of her actions and undesirable utterances especially which hurt patriotic sentiments”.
Mehbooba Mufti was among scores of political leaders detained in Jammu and Kashmir when the central government ended its special status under Article 370 and divided it into two Union Territories.
Last week, Mehbooba Mufti, a former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, had 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. Calling the central government “robbers”, she demanded that Jammu and Kashmir’s separate flag be restored.
To protest against her comments, the BJP in Jammu and Kashmir held a “Tiranga (flag) march” today.
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 part of the “People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration” led by National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah, a grouping of Jammu and Kashmir parties to fight for the restoration of Article 370. Farooq Abdullah and his son Omar Abdullah, both former chief ministers, were also released earlier this year after they were detained in August last year.
The “People’s Alliance” seeks a dialogue between all stakeholders for a resolution.