Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu said on Wednesday the abrogation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir was a step in the right direction and stressed on avoiding “partisanship and petty politicking” on issues of national importance. “We should evolve a consensus on larger national issues. We are not a new nation. We should avoid partisanship and petty politicking on issues of national importance. This is the need of the hour,” Naidu said addressing the first Balramji Dass Tandon memorial lecture at Panjab University here.
Tandon served as the deputy chief minister of Punjab in 1969-70 and was appointed the governor of Chhattisgarh in July 2014. He died on August 14 last year.
Speaking on the scrapping of the special powers given to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370, Naidu, also Panjab University’s chancellor, said he has received feedback from people that the entire country was “rejoicing” following the Centre’s move. “The abrogation of Article 370 was a step in the right direction. It ensures the unity and integrity of the nation,” he said.
The vice president cited old news reports to highlight that several MPs belonging to different political parties in 1963 and 1964 were in favour of ending the special status of J&K.
He praised Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh for asking Pakistan minister Fawad Chaudhary, who made a provocative tweet on the Indian Army, to not try to interfere in India’s internal matter. “Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has said, ‘we all are one and the country is ready to face any situation’. I read his statement today and I was very happy about it. This is the time when we should learn to be united and Punjab CM has given a good example of that,” Naidu said.
Singh had said the Indian Army is a disciplined and nationalist force, warning Islamabad against continued attempts to interfere on the Kashmir issue.
Kashmir is and will remain an integral part of India, he had said.