RSS attacking Mehbooba over her anti-national remark puts PDP-BJP alliance in jeopardy

The Jammu and Kashmir BJP on Tuesday launched a scathing attack on Peoples Democratic Party, its coalition partner in the state, targeting chief minister Mehbooba Mufti for her remarks on Article 370 which has triggered a political storm in the state.

The Hindu right-wing party, on Tuesday, demanded the remarks of CM, that those who speak against the Article 370 are "anti-nationals", should be expunged from the records of the state assembly's ongoing budget session.

Earlier on Tuesday, a high drama was witnessed in the assembly after the Speaker Kavinder Gupta who describes himself as a "proud RSS man", passed directions to expunge these remarks made by Mehbooba on Monday.

The house witnessed complete pandemonium after a BJP MLA, RS Jasrotia, from the Hindu belt of Kathua in Jammu region, demanded that the statement of chief minister on Article 370 be expunged.

"I will examine the record of the house and let the chief minister clarify the statement. I think every party has their own stand on the issue but it is possible that the chief minister would make a clarification in this regard," Speaker Kavinder Gupta, told.

Jasrotia, while speaking in the house, said the statement should not have come from the chief minister. "How can you call me anti-national. It is the stand of our party and our elders have laid down their life for this cause," Jasrotia told.

On Monday, the chief minister while speaking during grants to the departments under her charge, said Article 370 represents the pluralistic ethos of the state and it would go not only against the interests of the state but that of the country as well. "Those who will speak against it will be anti national," she said.

Article 370 of the Indian constitution grants special autonomous status to Jammu and Kashmir which makes it clear that any law, including Constitutional amendments, will not be applicable to the state unless applied by an order of the President under this article. Many right-wing NGOs and think tanks have sought legal intervention to abrogate the law. This has triggered a furious debate over identity politics in the state and is also seen as one of the factors behind the 2016 unrest.

While the coalition partners, PDP and BJP, are yet to mend fences on the issue, the Opposition has asked Mehbooba, who is also the Leader of the House, to clear her stand. National Conference, the largest opposition party in the state, termed the statement of BJP legislator as "mockery of the House."

“What has happened today is probably unheard of in any parliamentary system of democracy. I don’t think this has happened even in the British parliament. Mehbooba Mufti happens to be leader of the House and the chief minister. She made a statement on the floor of the house. Now her remarks have been expunged by the speaker on the asking of the BJP, the ally of the government. I think this requires a statement from her, a clarification. It also shows that she enjoys no confidence of her ally. So she should resign, keeping the stature of the house in mind,” National Conference leader from Jammu, Devinder Singh Rana, told.

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