Omar and Mehbooba get into a spat

An argument between Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, who were in detention at Hari Niwas Palace, allegedly got so nasty last week that the two former J&K CMs could no longer be kept in the same place, officials have revealed.

“Both were accusing each other of getting BJP into J&K. At one point, Omar shouted at Mehbooba, taunting her and the late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed for aligning with BJP between 2015 and 2018,” an official of the hospitality and protocol department said on condition of anonymity.

Omar and Mehbooba, who had recently sparred on Twitter over the triple talaq bill’s passage in Parliament, allegedly fired verbal volleys at each other within earshot of the staff at Hari Niwas Palace, a government guesthouse that used to be infamous as an interrogation centre for captured militants.

Mehbooba allegedly retaliated to Omar’s barb with one of her own. “She reminded Omar that his father Farooq Abdullah had an alliance with BJP under Atal Behari Vajpayee. She told him, ‘You were even junior minister for external affairs in the Vajpayee government’,” the official said. She allegedly went on to blame Omar’s grandfather Sheikh Abdullah for J&K’s accession to India in 1947.

As the squabble continued, the administration decided it would be best to separate them, the official said. Omar was shifted to what he described as “a splendid hut” in Chesmashahi, at the foot of Mahadev Peak. Mehbooba remains at Hari Niwas Palace. Till the argument between the two allegedly got personal, Omar had been occupying a portion of the ground floor at Hari Niwas while Mehbooba stayed on the first floor.

A protocol officer said Mehbooba had asked for brown bread but it couldn’t be provided as no such item was on the “jail menu”.

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