Srinagar: Reports say NC leader Omar Abdullah has been shifted out of Hari Niwas Palace and the reason cited is a nasty argument between him and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti. (Also read: ‘No Confusion About Revoking Article 370,’ Says Amit Shah)
An official of the hospitality and protocol department was quoted by a leading daily as saying, “Both were accusing each other of getting BJP into Jammu and Kashmir. At one point, Omar shouted at Mehbooba, taunting her and the late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed for aligning with BJP between 2015 and 2018.”
The two J&K leaders were allegedly arguing so loudly that the staff at Hari Niwas Palace could hear them, said reports. At Omar’s barbs at her, Mehbooba reportedly reminded him that his father Farooq Abdullah had an alliance with BJP under Atal Behari Vajpayee. She told him loudly, “You were even junior minister for external affairs in the Vajpayee government’,” the official said to media.
Mehbooba allegedly blamed Omar’s grandfather, Sheikh Abdullah, for J&K’s accession to India in 1947. As the spat carried on, the administration decided it would be best to detain them separately, the official said.
Omar was shifted to “a splendid hut” owned and maintained by the forest department in Chesmashahi, at the foot of Mahadev Peak. Mehbooba is still at the Hari Niwas Palace that is close to her official residence for several years.
Till Omar was moved out, the NC leader had been occupying a portion of the ground floor at Hari Niwas while Mehbooba stayed on the first floor. The official said the former CMs, among the 100-odd leaders of detained before the bill to nullify Article 370 was tabled in Parliament, were being provided food “in accordance with the jail manual and their status”.
A protocol officer told the daily said Mehbooba had asked for brown bread but it wasn’t on the jail menu, not even for VVIP detainees.