Mehbooba disrespecting India’s flag; 370 won’t be restored: Ravi Shankar Prasad

New Delhi: Accusing Mehbooba Mufti of disrespecting the Indian tricolour, the Bharatiya Janata Party on Saturday said that the abrogation of Article 370 was “done constitutionally” and that “it will not be restored.”

“Her comments that she will not hold the tricolour till the Kashmiri flag is restored is downright denunciation of the national flag’s sanctity,” senior BJP leader and Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

Mehbooba, who was recently released after a 14 month long detention, had on Friday said that she was not interested in contesting elections or holding the tricolour till the constitutional changes enforced on August 5 last year were rolled back.

She said she would hold the tricolour only when the separate flag of the erstwhile state is restored.

Prasad asserted that Article 370, which gave the erstwhile state a special status and was revoked last year, will not be restored.

“It was removed following a proper constitutional process and both Houses of Parliament approved it with overwhelming numbers,” he said.

“Revoking it was our commitment to the nation and people have appreciated it,” he said.

He added that Mehbooba, in many ways, has shown “serious disrespect to the very image of India which the tricolour represents”.

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.

He claimed that the revocation of the Article 370 has led to increased development in the union territory with the weaker sections of society, like SCs, STs, OBCs and women, enjoying the same rights that they do in the rest of the country.

People participated in local polls in Jammu and Kashmir with joy and happiness, he said.

“Some people and families who used to rule with impunity and without accountability are going to have problems,” he said.

Here in Kashmir, the regional parties gave a formal shape to the amalgam they had formed under Gupkar declaration.

The ‘Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD)’ Saturday announced MP and National Conference supremo Farooq Abdullah as its president and PDP head Mehbooba Mufti as the Vice -president of the amalgam.

The decision was taken in a two-hour-long meeting of top leaders of the alliance held at Mehbooba Mufti’s Gupkar residence.

Talking to the media persons, Sajad Lone, who has been appointed as spokesperson of the group, announced that Farooq Abdullah has been appointed as president of the group while Mehbooba Mufti will be its vice -president.

The alliance has said it will constitutionally fight for the restoration of Article 370 besides other issues.

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