Mehbooba, Swaraj cross swords over Modi praise

PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti refuted claims made by BJP leader Sushma Swaraj that she praised the Gujarat leader for his leadership skills.

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s much-publicised fast courted one more controversy on Tuesday with war of words being exchanged between Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) President Mehbooba Mufti and Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj.

Mehbooba Mufti refuted claims made by senior BJP leader that she had praised the Gujarat leader for his leadership skills.

Speaking to reporters, Mufti said, “Sushma Swaraj is lying. I never made such a statement praising the Gujarat Chief Minister ever. Swaraj’s claims that I praised Modi are totally baseless.”

“It is unfortunate that the BJP leader has chosen to misquote me for varied reasons. I never met her and never made such statement. I demand the government to make public the full text of my speech to clear the air over my reported praise of the Gujarat BJP leader,” she said.

"I feel the party (BJP) is frustrated, but I would request them if they want some Muslim leader on their side to prove their secular credentials, they must approach Farooq Abdullah who has praised Modi and even said he had seen Allah in Modi`s eyes," she said.

The reaction from the PDP leader comes a day after Swaraj claimed that there is no discrimination in Gujarat against Muslims and that J&K’s PDP party chief Mehbooba Mufti even acknowledges his leadership skills.

"Gujarat is a state where there is no discrimination against Muslims. No plan is made thinking whether Hindus will benefit or Muslims, even PDP president Mufti praised Modi’s style of governance during a meeting of the National Integration Council (NIC) recently,” Swaraj had said on the sidelines of Narendra Modi`s three-day fast.

Meanwhile in a tweet today, Swaraj said she had only stated what Mufti had said at the NIC meet.

“I correctly quoted Mehbooba Mufti in Ahmedabad yesterday," Sushma Swaraj tweeted after Mufti`s stout denial.

"I only quoted what she spoke in the presence of over a hundred people in the afternoon session of the NIC (National Integration Council) meeting on 10th September," she said.

“It was not a private conversation."

Modi ended his three-day fast titled ‘Sadbhawana Mision’ yesterday, which he claimed will bring more prosperity, peace and harmony in the BJP-ruled state.

Meanwhile, the Centre has accepted the PDP leader’s demand for providing the full text of her speech during the NIC meeting.

Union Home Secretary RK Singh told reporters, “We normally provide the minutes of every NIC meeting to all attending members and this time also we will provide the full text of the speeches made by the participants.”

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