As the country celebrates its Constitution Day three former Chief Ministers, who swore allegiance to the Constitution, continue to be illegally detained since early August, Iltija Mufti, daughter of PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti said on Twitter this morning. In an apparent swipe at the unstable political situation in Maharashtra, Ms Mufti also hit out at political parties accused of horse-trading, saying "MLAs are being purchased like onions in a supermarket".
"We are living in times when 3 ex J&K CMs who swore allegiance to Indian constitution have been illegally detained since 5th August. Meanwhile MLAs are being purchased like onions in a supermarket. Happy Constitution day," Ms Mufti's tweet read.
India marks its 5th Constitution Day - a tribute to Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar, the first Law Minister, who played a key role in the framing of the document - today. A practice that began four years ago, during the first term of the Narendra Modi government, it is celebrated on November 26 - the day the nation adopted its constitution; it came into force on January 26, 1950.
Earlier, November 26 was celebrated as National Law Day.
Ms Mufti's tweet refers to the detention of her mother and National Conference leaders Farooq Abdullah and his son Omar Abdullah. The three were among hundreds detained in early August, when the centre announced its contentious decision on Article 370.
The detention sparked furious protests in Kashmir and other parts of the country, with opposition parties alleging the detentions were illegal and the centre was trying to stifle their voices and browbeat them into submission.
Last week Iltija Mufti alleged Jammu and Kashmir police had manhandled three political leaders, including Sajjad Lone, while they were being shifted from Srinagar's Centaur Hotel to a detention centre in the city.
Earlier this month Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla told a parliamentary standing committee that the detentions and security restrictions had been imposed "in view of statements by senior leaders of state" and said that the measures had ensured peace prevailed in Jammu and Kashmir.
Meanwhile, Iltija Mufti's comment on horse-trading assumes significance given the developments in Maharashtra, where an unlikely Shiv Sena-Congress-NCP front has moved the Supreme Court over a controversial attempt at government formation by the BJP and breakaway NCP leader Ajit Pawar.
The three-party front, led by the Sena, demanded an immediate floor test on Sunday. The BJP-NCP pair need around 40 MLAs to reach the 145-seat majority mark and, with memories of the collapse of the Congress-JDS coalition in Karnataka still fresh in the opposition's mind, the Sena-Congress-NCP have rushed to guard their MLAs from poaching attempts.