Former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti has come under attack from two fronts after she offered prayers at Navagraha temple during her visit to Poonch district on Wednesday. While the state BJP dubbed it a “political gimmick”, a Deoband cleric criticised her move, calling it “unIslamic”.
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) chief, who was on a two-day visit to the district, performed Jal Abhishek on the idol of Lord Shiva, and also offered flowers to the statue of Bani Yashpal Sharma in the temple premises.
The spokesperson for BJP
“In 2008, Mehbooba Mufti and her party opposed allotment of land to Shri Amarnath Ji shrine board. Her party didn’t allow the temporary transfer of land to the shrine board for construction of hutments for pilgrims,” Pathania said.
“Her visit to the temple is just plain drama and gimmickery, which wont yield any results. If political gimmicks could have brought changes, then Jammu and Kashmir would have been an orchard of prosperity today,” he added.
Addressing the criticism by the Deoband cleric who took exception to her offering prayers at the tmple, Mufti said India is a secular nation and she respects all religions.
“We are a secular nation. We follow ‘Ganga Jamuni tehzeeb’. I respect all religions. I went to a temple built by our leader, Late Yashpal Sharma ji. It is a beautiful temple. Someone at the temple handed me a vessel full of water with love. I respected his affection and devotion and did Jal Abhishek of Shiv Lingam,” Mufti said.
“I did not want to break his heart by refusing to pour water (on the Shivling). He asked for it and I did it,” Mehbooba Mufti told reporters. When quizzed about some Islamic scholars from Deoband in Uttar Pradesh disliking it, she said she did not want to delve into whether it is allowed or not in her religion.
“In our country, Hindus and Muslims live together and there are more Hindus offering ‘Chadar’ at Muslim shrines than Muslims themselves. This issue is related to me and there is no need for further discussion over it,” PTI quoted her as saying.