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J&K: Congress demands Mehbooba Mufti’s resignation

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The Congress on Sunday asked for Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s resignation over her flag remarks, news agency PTI reported. The party said that Mufti has hurt the sentiments of the people and demanded an explanation from the BJP. It asked the BJP as to what kind of freedom is being given by their coalition partner (PDP) in the Jammu and Kashmir government and the chief minister.

State Congress unit’s chief spokesperson Ravinder Sharma said, “Congress has taken strong exception to the utterances of Chief Minister. No one has right to insult the national flag as great sacrifices and nation’s honour is attached with it.”

“Mehbooba has no right to quote the example of the national flag in any form and hurt the nationalist sentiments by insulting it, what so ever may be her reasoning or context,” he added.

On Friday, Mehbooba Mufti at an event in New Delhi had said, “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).” She also said, “you are not targeting separatists who have an agenda to secede but you are weakening the forces who have accepted India, participated in elections. They make efforts to integrate Jammu and Kashmir with India with respect and dignity. You are weakening them.”

Sharma accused the BJP of “surrendering their agenda (of alliance)” to remain in power in J&K. He said, “We seek answers from the BJP over the statement and utterances of Mehbooba Mufti. She is even questioning the utility of NIA investigations as well propagating her illogical and highly objectionable agenda.”

“What kind of freedom of idea is being advocated by their coalition partner (PDP) and the chief minister. She (Mehbooba) has lost right to continue in office,” he added.

However, the state BJP on Saturday refrained from commenting on Mufti’s remarks on opening more trade routes with PoK and joint legislature despite resentment within the party. “The party and the government are taking serious note of it,” a BJP leader said.

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