Bharatiya Janata Party General Secretary Ram Madhav on Saturday criticised former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti for saying that the party’s attempts to split her Peoples Democratic Party would lead to the rise of separatists such as Syed Salahuddin and Yasin Malik, like in 1987.

“What Mehboobaji said yesterday is unfortunate and based on lies,” Madhav told ANI. “Instead of solving their internal conflicts they are blaming Delhi and threatening in name of terrorism. As far as the BJP is concerned, we are not trying to break any party.”

Five dissenting leaders of Mufti’s party on Friday dismissed Mufti’s claim that they were rebelling at the Centre’s behest. Legislators Javaid Baig, Imran Ansari, Majeed Padder, Yasir Reshi and Safuddin Bhat said they have no faith in Mufti’s leadership and claimed they want to strengthen and reform the party.

Madhav said as far as the Salahuddin comment was concerned, the Centre and the security forces “have the power to neutralise all the terrorists who are in the Valley and those might turn to terrorism due to Mehboobaji”.

Meanwhile, a group of BJP activists on Saturday staged a protest at Kachi Chawni in Jammu against Mufti, PTI reported. They burnt an effigy of the former chief minister. The protests were led by the party’s President for Jammu West Ayodhya Gupta, who urged Governor NN Vohra to take note of Mufti’s comment and file a sedition case against her.

BJP Mahila Morcha’s District President Veena Gupta asked Mufti to maintain the dignity of the chief minister’s office and dared her to follow up on her statement. “If you create one [Salahuddin], we will send 10 Bhagat Singhs from Jammu,” Gupta warned.