Jammu, November 9
PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti on Monday asserted that she will hold the tricolour and the flag of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir together, saying as an MLA she had reaffirmed her faith in the J-K Constitution and the sovereignty and integrity of India as both are inseparable.
The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister had last month said she was not interested in contesting elections or holding the national flag till the constitutional changes enforced on August 5 last year were rolled back, sparking protests in Jammu.
“We are the people, especially in the Kashmir Valley, who upheld the tricolour high over the years at the cost of thousands of our workers who were martyred,” Mufti told reporters here at the end of her five-day visit to Jammu – her first after release from over one-year-long detention under the Public Safety Act (PSA).
Launching a scathing attack on the BJP, besides the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) without naming it, she said, “Those moving with half pants and where their leader sits do not hoist the tricolour (at their headquarters) and they are giving us lessons on the national flag.”
She said her father Mufti Mohammad Sayeed picked up the national flag when they were being dismissed as ‘insects of filthy drain’ and subjected to social boycott.
“We, including the BJP members, have taken an oath (in the assembly and council) that we will affirm our faith in the Constitution of J-K and will uphold the sovereignty and integrity of India. First, it was the J-K Constitution and then the sovereignty and integrity of the country. How is it, they cut one finger and leave the other, it is not right,” she said.
Asked whether she will hold the tricolour, Mufti said, “I had already replied that I have taken an oath of the J-K Constitution when I became the MLA for the first time and I affirm my faith to the Constitution of J-K and uphold the sovereignty and integrity of India – both of which are interlinked. J-K flag and Indian flag, I will uphold both these flags together.”
She accused the BJP of “breaking the relations” of Jammu and Kashmir with the country by its last year’s decision of abrogating the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 and bifurcating it into union territories.
“I am saying give us our flag and the Constitution back…the merchandise you have looted in the daylight after conspiring under the darkness of the night have to be returned with interest,” the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president said.
She said the people in Nagaland had recently said they do not accept the flag of this country and the Constitution, why these “half pants” did not take out protest marches against them.
“When I said we will raise both the flags, they came out with protests and burnt my effigies but when the people in Nagaland are saying, there is no murmur and discussion on the television,” Mufti said. — PTI