Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Saturday, 24 October, said special status under Article 370 will not be restored in Jammu and Kashmir, after People's Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti said that she won’t hold the tricolour until the constitutional changes to be rolled back.
Stating that it was “serious disrespect to the very image of India”, Prasad said that “this is hypocrisy and double standard.”
J&K BJP President Ravinder Raina has called for booking PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti for her "seditious remarks," soon after she addressed her first press conference after being released from detention on Friday, 23 October.
"I request Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha to take note of (the) seditious remarks of Mehbooba Mufti, book her for the seditious act and put her behind bars," Raina was quoted as saying.
On Friday, Mufti had said, “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.”
"My flag is this (J&K's flag). 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," she was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
On this, Raina said only the national flag can be hoisted in Jammu and Kashmir. "We will sacrifice every drop of our blood for our flag, country and motherland. Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of our country, so only one flag can be hoisted... and that is the national flag," he was quoted as saying by PTI.
Meanwhile, Union Minister Jitendra Singh pointed out that Kashmir's politicians sometimes tend to be more dangerous than separatists.
"Mehbooba Mufti claims to be a mainstream politician but she has reservations in carrying the tricolour. We've maintained for the last several years that Kashmir's so-called politicians sometimes tend to be more dangerous than apparently identified separatists," he was quoted as saying by ANI.
“They 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.”Union Minister Jitendra Singh
What Else Did Mufti Say?
Responding to PM Modi’s jibe on the Opposition with regard to Article 370, former J&K CM Mufti on Friday said PM Modi had “nothing to show to ask for votes.”
“They have nothing to show to ask for votes. They say you can buy land in J&K, we’ve abrogated Article 370. Then they said they will give free vaccines. Today, PM Modi had to speak of Article 370 for votes. This government has failed to solve the issues of this nation.”Mehbooba Mufti, PDP Chief
On Friday, kicking off his election campaign with Nitish Kumar in Bihar’s Sasaram, PM Modi attacked the Opposition for demanding the restoration of Article 370 in Kashmir.
Mufti added, “We are even behind Bangladesh when it comes to economy. Be it unemployment or any other issue, they have failed on all fronts. When they fail on all fronts, they are reminded of Kashmir and Article 370.”
Claiming that she has not abandoned the fight to get back J&K’s special status that was revoked by the Centre on 5 August 2019, Mufti said, as quoted by NDTV, "Those who feel we will abandon Kashmir are mistaken."
Six regional parties, including PDP, with the support of Congress and CPI (M) at the national level, have formed 'Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration' (PAGD) and launched a joint struggle for restoration of the Statehood and Articles 370 and 35-A.