Baig blames Mehbooba’s ‘provocative statement’ for downsizing state into UTs

Jammu: Senior PDP leader Muzaffar Hussain Baig on Thursday said former chief minister and party president Mehbooba Mufti’s “provocative” statement over Article 370 resulted in downgrading of Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories.
Mufti had in 2017 warned the Centre that if special rights and privileges to the people of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution are tinkered with, then there would be no one in the state to hold the tricolour.
“The statement was made by Mehbooba Mufti in my absence. I was not there when she made it. I have on record said that the statement like it resulted in downgrading of the state (JK) into union territories,” Baig, who is one of the founding members of the PDP and former deputy chief minister, told reporters here.
He added the “threatening statement” to New Delhi should not have been made.
“If Jammu and Kashmir has to live together and if we have to bat for our rights, we have to talk with decency and humility,” the PDP leader said.
Baig criticized the “provocative” statement of Mufti and said one cannot “threaten” the top leadership in New Delhi to see one’s grievances being heard.
“We cannot get anything by browbeating and threatening Modi ji, home minister or NSA. As citizens of India, we should put before them our grievances and our problems with humility,” he added.
“We believe in that approach. It was a provocative statement and it should not have been made,” Baig said.
Mufti has been critical of the Centre over the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370.
In August last year when the Centre announced abrogation of Article 370 provisions and bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into union territories — J and K and Ladakh, Mufti had said India failed Kashmir in keeping its promises. PTI

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