Mehbooba on Friday had said she was not interested in contesting elections or holding the tricolour till the constitutional changes enforced on August 5 last year were rolled back.
Three days after PDP president and former CM Mehbooba Mufti said she will not contest elections or hoist the Tricolour until the constitutional changes enforced on August 5 are rolled back and the separate flag is restored to Jammu and Kashmir, the party on Monday suffered a setback in Jammu with three senior leaders submitting their resignations, saying that Mufti’s remarks have “hurt patriotic sentiments”.
In their two-page resignation letter to the party president, PDP MP T S Bajwa, founding member and former general secretary Ved Mahajan, and former state secretary Hussain A Waffa wrote that they were “feeling quite uncomfortable over some of her actions and undesirable utterances, especially those which hurt patriotic sentiments’’.
“Some of the actions and utterances are unpardonable and unforgettable by the people for the party to emerge out and move in a direction of its fundamental approach and identity, besides regaining its image as a political alternative… In view of this, we feel uncomfortable and suffocated in the party, forcing us to take a difficult decision of leaving the party,” they wrote.
The three leaders referred to earlier coalitions with the Congress which had been able to restore peace and harmony and ensure equitable political share.
PDP also faced a “bigger challenge” in 2014 when its late president Mufti Mohammed Sayeed took a “difficult decision” of joining hands with the ideologically opposite BJP, they wrote.
“Although he was aware of the difficulties of such a decision, he attempted to convert the challenge into new opportunities in furtherance of his vision for a better future and more harmonious relationship between the people of the state within the Indian union,” they said.
Mufti, who was among scores of political leaders detained in J&K a night before the Centre abrogated Article 370 and bifurcated the state into two Union territories on August 5 last year, was released this month after a 14-month detention.
She had made the remarks on Friday during her first press conference after her release. The PDP leader is already under attack for her statement in Jammu, with the BJP having approached the Election Commission of India seeking derecognition of her party. Several BJP leaders have called her remarks seditious.
Meanwhile, a group of youths led by a lawyer, Deepak Sharma, on Monday swarmed the PDP office in Jammu and hoisted the Tricolour in the presence of police personnel deployed at the office.
The PDP office has since Saturday seen several attempts by various organisations, including the ABVP, to hoist the national flag at the party office.-With PTI inputs