Union minister and Lok Sabha MP from J&K, Jitendra Singh on Friday said while Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti claims to be a mainstream politician, she has reservations in carrying the tricolour.
“We have maintained for last several years that Kashmir’s so-called politicians sometimes tend to be more dangerous than apparently identified separatists,” Jitendra Singh was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
The minister was responding to some comments made by Mehbooba Mufti during her press conference today in Srinagar.
Addressing the press for the first time in over 14 months since the abrogation of Article 370 in August last year and her subsequent months-long detention, Mehbooba Mufti said she will hoist the tricolour only when the flag of J&K is returned to the state.
“My flag is this (points to the flag of J&K kept on the table in front of her). When this flag comes back, we’ll raise that flag (tricolour) too. Until we get our own flag back, we won’t raise any other flag…This flag forged our relationship with that flag. Our relationship with the flag of this country is not independent of this flag (Jammu and Kashmir’s flag). When this flag comes in our hand, we will raise that flag too,” Mehbooba Mufti was quoted as saying by ANI.
Reacting to her comments, Jitender Singh said Mehbooba Mufti and other leaders from Kashmir swear by India when they are in power but start swearing by Pakistan when they are out of power.
“They (leaders from Kashmir) have cultivated the art and craft of swearing by Mother India saying ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ when in power. Once they are out of power they start swearing by Pakistan and questioning the integration of Jammu and Kashmir,” Jitendra Singh told ANI.
Earlier in the day, addressing her press conference, Mehbooba Mufti said her party and the recently-floated People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration will take a final decision on whether to contest elections or not in the Union territory.
Jammu and Kashmir’s mainstream political parties, including the National Conference and the Peoples Democratic Party, formed the Gupkar alliance on October 15 for restoration of special status of the erstwhile state and also to initiate a dialogue between all the stakeholders on the issue.
Mehbooba Mufti said she was personally not interested in contesting polls till the erstwhile state’s flag and constitution were restored. “I am not ready to take any oath without my flag and my constitution,” she said.
(With inputs from agencies)