Three PDP leaders quit party over Mehbooba Mufti’s remarks on tri colour

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Jammu, Octobe 26: In a big setback to PDP, three senior leaders quit the party here on Monday saying that the remarks of former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti on tri colour have “hurt patriotic sentiments’’.

Those quitting PDP included party’s former MP T S Bajwa, founding member Ved Mahajan and Hussain A Waffa who had unsuccessfully contested assembly election from Nagrota constituency.

They were “feeling quite uncomfortable over some of her actions and undesirable utterances especially which hurt patriotic sentiments’’, these leaders said in a letter sent to party president Mehbooba Mufti. Waffa had unsuccessfully contested the assembly elections from Nagrota as PDP candidate.

Mehbooba Mufti was among scores of political leaders detained in Jammu and Kashmir when Centre abrogated Article 370 and bifurcated Jammu and Kashmir State into two Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh on August 5 last year. She was released early this month after 14 month long detention. However, in her maiden press conference after her release, she had on Friday last said that she will not raise tri colour until the constitutional changes enforced on August 5 were rolled back and Jammu Kashmir got its own flag.

The PDP leader is already under attack for her statement in Jammu, with saffron BJP having approached the Election Commission of India seeking de-recognition of PDP. Apart from this, a group of local youth headed by a practicing lawyer Deepak Sharma swarmed the PDP headquarters here and hosited tri colour there in presence of police force who had been deployed there.

The PDP office since Saturday last had been witness to attempts to hoist tri colour by various organisations including ABVP and social activists. However, the olice did not allow any of them enter the PDP office and hoist tri colour there.

Meanwhile, BJP took out Tiranga yatra in the city as part of its celebrations to observe October 26 as “Vilay Divas’’ (Accessions Day) as it was on this day in 1947 the then Dogra ruler Maharaja Hari Singh had signed the Instrument of Accession acceding Jammu and Kashmir into the Dominion of India.

Speaking on the occasion, BJP president Ravinder Sharma declared that now no other flag will be hoisted on the pious lands of Jammu & Kashmir, adding that nobody especially the “Gupkar Gang’’ shall remain in doubt over it.