Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti may have blocked ex-cricketer Gautam Gambhir but the new BJP recruit isn’t done yet. As 91 constituencies in the country voted for the first phase of Lok Sabha elections and the campaign continued for the remaining six, Mr Gambhir targeted Ms Mufti in front of television cameras.
“She (Mehbooba Mufti) can block me, but till when will she keep blocking 130 crore people of the nation? There is a wave in this country and if she doesn’t flow with it, she’ll drown. In 2014, there was a wave, in 2019 there is tsunami and there is development,” Mr Gambhir told TV news crews while campaigning for the BJP.
Mehbooba Mufti, the People’s Democratic Party chief, had blocked the cricketer-turned-politician on Twitter on Tuesday, after the two indulged in a heated argument over the special status bestowed upon Kashmir through Articles 370 and 35A.
The altercation began after the Delhi High Court admitted a public interest litigation seeking a direction to the Election Commission for banning Jammu and Kashmir politicians Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti from the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
“Why waste time in court? Wait for the BJP to scrap Article 370. It will automatically debar us from fighting elections since the Indian constitution won’t be applicable to Jammu and Kashmir anymore,” she tweeted in response, adding: “Na samjhogay tho mit jaoge, aye Hindustan walo. Tumhari dastaan tak bhi na hogi dastaano mein (O people of India, you will be erased if you do not understand. Even your tales won’t be written in history)”.
An incensed Gautam Gambhir responded by saying that this was India she was talking about, not a “blot like you that can be erased”. Mehbooba Mufti took a while responding, and when she finally did, it was with the hope that Gautam Gambhir’s political innings in the BJP wouldn’t be as “abysmal” as his cricketing career.
The battle was all about personal jibes now, and the former cricketer’s comeback was scathing. “U needed 10 hours to respond to my tweet and come up with such a pedestrian analogy!!! Too slow. It shows the lack of depth in ur personality. No wonder you guys have struggled to solve the issues at hand,” he tweeted.