Even as the government on Monday modified Article 370, which gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir, and moved a bill to bifurcate the state into two separate union territories, it received support in the Parliament from unlikely quarters, with staunch critics like Mayawati’s BSP and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) backing the move. FOLLOW LIVE UPDATES
Apart from BSP and AAP, fence-sitters like Naveen Patnaik’s BJD, Jagan Mohan Reddy’s YSRCP, Bodoland People’s Front (BDF), TRS and TDP also supported the J&K Reorganisation Bill, which provides for the formation of the Union Territory of Ladakh without legislature and a separate one for Jammu and Kashmir with the legislature. NDA allies Shiv Sena, AIADMK and SAD also backed the government move amid a massive uproar by the Opposition.
In an embarrassment for the BJP, BJP’s Bihar ally JD(U), which had also opposed the Triple Talaq Bill, staged a walkout as soon as Home Minister Amit Shah moved the resolution on Article 370 as also the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill 2019.
“Our chief Nitish Kumar is carrying forward the tradition of JP Narayan, Ram Manohar Lohia and George Fernandes. So our party is not supporting the Bill moved in the Rajya Sabha today. We have different thinking. We want that Article 370 should not be revoked,” senior JD(U) leader KC Tyagi said.
Besides JD(U), Congress, TMC, DMK, PDP, CPM, RJD and Vaiko’s MDMK vehemently opposed the move, with members creating a ruckus in the Well of the House and shouting slogans such as ‘We want justice’ and ‘Don’t divide Kashmir’. Samajwadi Party (SP) members, however, did not join them in the well.
PDP members Nazir Ahmad Laway and Mir Mohammad Fayaz shouted slogans and tore posters. Laway even tore the ‘kurta’ he was wearing. MDMK’s Vaiko said the government was killing democracy. “Emergency days have come back,” he said.
“You have played with the sentiments of people of Kashmir. When additional army personnel were deployed there, I was worried. Kashmir should not become Kosovo, East Timor and South Sudan,” Vaiko said in the Rajya Sabha on Monday.
Delhi Chief Minister and AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal said his party supported the Centre’s decisions on Jammu and Kashmir. “We hope this will bring peace and development in the state,” the chief minister tweeted.