SRINAGAR: Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Saturday lashed out at former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, saying her remarks were “downright denunciation” of the national flag’s sanctity. The minister added that Article 370 will not be restored, reported The Week.
On Friday, addressing reporters for the first time since her release from a 14-month detention following the abrogation of Article 370 in August last year, Mufti had said she would only hold the national flag after the flag of Jammu and Kashmir was restored.
In an act seen as defiance, the flag of the erstwhile state was prominently placed on a table in front of the PDP president, along with that of her party, during the press conference.
“Article 370 was removed following a proper constitutional process and both houses of Parliament approved it with overwhelming numbers,” The Week quoted Prasada as having said, adding that revoking the provision was BJP’s commitment to the nation.
The minister also hit out at other opposition parties, saying they have maintained a stony silence at her remarks showing serious disrespect to the national flag, even as they criticise the saffron party at the “slightest of issues”.
“This is hypocrisy and double standard,” Prasad said.
During her presser, Mufti had accused the BJP of “looting” the dignity of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
“We had acceded to a liberal, democratic, secular India. Let me tell them that we are not comfortable, we are incompatible with today’s India where minorities and Dalits are not safe and where they tried to disrespect us by looting our dignity,” she said.
The BJP had demanded Mufti’s arrest for her “seditious” remarks. The party said “no power on earth” can either hoist the state flag again or restore Article 370 of the Constitution, which granted a special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Meanwhile, the Congress party asked Mufti to desist from making highly provocative and irresponsible remarks on the national flag.
Reacting to Mufti’s statement on the national flag, Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) chief spokesperson Ravinder Sharma said the former CM had hurt the patriotic sentiments of people.