Mehbooba Mufti and Farooq Abdullah (L) with other leaders of the newly floated PAGD in Srinagar on Saturday
Mehbooba Mufti and Farooq Abdullah (L) with other leaders of the newly floated PAGD in Srinagar on Saturday
Sajad Hameed

A day after former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti triggered a furor with her flag remark, the recently floated People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration in Kashmir Valley rushed to douse it on Saturday.

PAGD chief and head of National Conference Farooq Abdullah said the new conglomerate is against the BJP but not India. "It's not an anti-national alliance, it is an anti-BJP alliance," said Abdullah after a meeting of PAGD. "BJP wants to divide the country, our aim is to ensure that the rights of people of J&K and Ladakh are restored."

Addressing reporters on Friday for the first time since her release from a 14-month detention following the abrogation of Article 370 in August last year, Mufti said she will only hold the national flag after the flag of Jammu and Kashmir is restored. The PAGD has adopted the flag of the erstwhile state of J&K as its symbol.

In an act seen as defiance, the now-withdrawn J&K flag was prominently placed on a table in front of Mufti, who heads the Peoples Democratic Party, along with that of her party, during the press conference. Her view was seen as a reflection of the new alliance.

While the J&K BJP demanded Mufti's arrest for her "seditious" remarks, a Delhi lawyer picked another comment of hers—"dacoits snatched our flag"—to file a police complaint.

J&K BJP chief Ravinder Raina said the "conspiracies of the Gupkar Gang" would not be tolerated and anyone challenging the unity and integrity of the country would be jailed. He also announced to celebrate October 26 as 'accession day' to send a message that J&K is an integral part of India.

"As the government has permanently scrapped Article 370, no power on earth can restore it. No power on earth can hoist any flag other than the national flag in Jammu and Kashmir," added Raina.

The J&K unit of Congress too asked Mufti to desist from making "provocative", "irresponsible" remarks on national flag. However, party leader former Union Minister Saifuddin Soz said Mufti just conveyed the wishes of the people of the region.

Meanwhile, the Shiv Sena Dogra Front staged a protest against Mufti in Jammu.

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