The Congress today demanded Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s resignation over her flag remarks, saying no has the right to insult the tricolour. The party said she has hurt the sentiments of the people and asked the BJP to explain what kind of freedom is being advocated by their coalition partner (PDP) in the Jammu and Kashmir government and the chief minister. “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,” state Congress unit’s chief spokesperson Ravinder Sharma said here. “Mehbooba has no right to quote the example of national flag in any form and hurt the nationalist sentiments by insulting it, what so ever may be her reasoning or context,” he said. At an event in New Delhi on Friday, Mehbooba 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).” Sharma also hit out at the BJP and accused it of “surrendering their agenda (of alliance)” to remain in power in the state. “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,” he said.
“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. Notably, the BJP yesterday expressed shock and surprise over Mufti’s remarks and asserted that Article 35-A of the Constitution which grants special status to the state is “not a sacred cow that cannot be touched”. The state unit of the BJP said that while the party stands by the Agenda of Alliance with the PDP and won’t seek alteration of existing constitutional position, “it is equally true that Article 35-A has done more harm to the State than any other provision of law”. Union minister Jitendra Singh yesterday said the tricolour is “sacrosanct” and termed the chief minister’s remarks as “shocking and ridiculous”.