Constitutional Monstrosity: Cong Against Article 370’s Revocation
“Black day in the Constitutional history of India,” said Chidambaram, at a media briefing in Delhi.
Home Minister Amit Shah’s announcement to revoke Article 370, which conferred special status to Jammu and Kashmir, did not go down well with the Congress as its leaders, namely Ghulam Nabi Azad and P Chidamabaram spoke vehemently against in a media briefing in New Delhi on Monday, 5 August.
Earlier during the day, the Centre moved a Bill in the Rajya Sabha to bifurcate the state into two union territories – Jammu and Kashmir as one and Ladakh as the other.
‘Playing With a Nation Which is Historically, Culturally, Politically Different From Us’
Launching one attack after another, Azad said on the revocation of Article 370, “Jammu and Kashmir's accession happened with India. There was a history behind it. To maintain that relationship between India and Kashmir, a lot of people have sacrificed their lives... civilians, leaders, workers. Many Indian Army personnel lost their lives. Mainstream political parties and Kashmiri population also dealt with terrorist attacks in the Valley. And now in one go, power-hungry BJP-led NDA government, to appease the vote-banks, a state which is a border state, which is culturally, geographically, historically and politically different from us...”
Outlining the demarcation of the population in Ladakh, Kashmir and Jammu, Nabi said, “There are three regions. Ladakh has a predominant population of Buddhists and Muslims. Kashmir, which mainly consists of Muslims, Kashmiri pandits and Sikhs. And Jammu has a 60 percent Hindu and 40 percent Muslim population. If there was anything that had tied them together, it was Article 370. The Article had provisions for people for all political and religious backgrounds. And, in as shock today, BJP just invalidated three-four things.”
Talking about how there won’t be a Governor in Jammu and Kashmir anymore, he said, “There will be a Lieutenant Governor now. We did not even think about this in our wildest dreams.”
Azad was also able to emphasise on a factor that has been perhaps overshadowed among the loud cheers after the announcement. That is, our borders.
“They don't realise the gravity of the situation. We share a border with China. Kargil is also at stake. Pakistan shares its border with Jammu. We have a border with Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) too. To then play with people, their lives, the state's unity and integrity and democracy is a betrayal to this country,” said Azad.
‘They Have Dismembered J&K’
“Black day in the Constitutional history of India,” is how Chidambaram expressed his disappointment at the media briefing.
Appalled by the move, he said, “What the government has done was unprecedented. We anticipated that they will embark upon an adventure but even in our wildest dreams, we did not think that they will take such a catastrophic step. They have not simply gotten rid of Article 370, they have dismembered the state of Jammu and Kashmir by mischievously misinterpreting both Article 3 and 370.”
‘It Will Not Stop Here’
Chidambaram echoed what most of the Opposition has been saying ever since Shah made the historic announcement.
He said, “If this can be done to Jammu and Kashmir, let me caution you, it can be done to any other state in India. All they have to do is dismiss the elected government, impose President's rule, take over the power of State Assembly, move a resolution, the Parliament approves it, and a state can be dismembered. A state can be bifurcated into two, three or more, and Union Territories can be created. It will not stop here.”
“What they’ve done is a Constitutional monstrosity. People of India must wake up and realise the danger of the example set by this government today.”P Chidambaram, Congress
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