Mumbai: Former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and State Irrigation Minister Jayant Patil engaged in a Twitter spat over a 'Free Kashmir' poster during protest at the Gateway of India in Mumbai against the JNU violence.
A poster with the message "Free Kashmir" was carried by one of the protesters at the Gateway of India on Monday. Fadnavis tagged a picture of the poster on his Twitter account and asked what exactly was the protest for and if the Chief inister Uddhav Thackeray will tolerate this "anti-India campaign" right under his nose.
"Protest is for what exactly? Why slogans of "Free Kashmir"? How can we tolerate such separatist elements in Mumbai? 'Free Kashmir' slogans by Azadi gang at 2km from CMO? Uddhavji are you going to tolerate this free Kashmir anti-India campaign right under your nose???" Fadnavis asked.
Patil, in a response to Fadnavis, accused him of trying to confuse people by "decoding words" in a hateful manner. "Devendraji, it's 'free kashmir' from all discriminations, bans on cellular networks and central control. I can't believe that a responsible leader like you trying to confuse people by decoding words in such a hatred way. Is it losing power or losing self-control?" he asked.
Fadnavis hit back saying for them nation comes first and that he did not expect "vote bank politics," from Patil. "What a pity! Now separatist tendencies get a Government advocate," he said."Jayantrao, this vote bank politics is not expected from you. Kashmir has already been freed from discrimination and certain curbs have been there for decades for security concerns. Be it in Govt or opposition, for us, the only principle is NATION FIRST!" Fadnavis tweeted.
Meanwhile, Mumbai based Mehak Mirza Prabhu, a storyteller-writer by profession, told her motive behind holding the placard has been misinterpreted.
"At around 7 pm yesterday, I reached where the protest was happening at the Gateway of India. Like anybody else who believes in democracy, I also joined that protest. We were standing for justice for the JNU students. I saw a bunch of people who were painting placards on every issue like NRC, CAA and for JNU students. People were making placards related to several issues, including the NRC and CAA, and then I saw a placard lying on the side which said 'Free Kashmir'. The first thing which came to my mind when I saw that placard was about the basic constitutional rights of Kashmiris," Prabhu said in a video posted on facebook.
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut clarified that it would not tolerate if anyone talks of freedom of Kashmir from India. "I read that those who held the 'Free Kashmir' poster clarified that they want to be free of restrictions on Internet services, mobile services, and other issues. It doesn't mean that they advocate freedom from India," Raut said.
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