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Voices in Rajya Sabha: ‘Dark day… don’t want a Palestine’, ‘destroyed a 70-year-old blot’

The Rajya Sabha Monday passed the J&K Reorganisation Bill.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: August 6, 2019 7:49:08 am
The Rajya Sabha Monday passed the J&K Reorganisation Bill. (PTI)

Derek O’Brien (TMC): Calling it a “dark day” for parliamentary democracy, federalism, the Constitution, Rajya Sabha and idea of India, O’Brien said: “The Constitution has been sadly, either forgotten conveniently, or, thrown into the dustbin… I would like to sincerely appeal… to my colleagues in the parties with strong regional presence, be they in Odisha, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, or anywhere else. What this basically means is that apply President’s Rule on a state, then dissolve the House, then you bring a Presidential proclamation, then, in the morning, you do this…” He said the speed at which the business of the House was changed was a “mockery of Parliament”. “We will fight this everyday in Parliament and outside. Let us talk about federalism. Don’t believe what TMC or any other party says. Believe what Dr Ambedkar said, and Dr Ambedkar said more than once, that the heart of our Constitution is federal, and only in times of extremity, do we look at it through the lens of unitary”. “Beyond the tamed television channels and the tamed media owners, I also have to see what is happening on social media today morning. It is being called by the right wing — and this is all over — ‘the final solution’. Sir, the final solution! What does that mean? That means 1942. This was the Nazi plan for genocide; the code name to murder the Jews was called ‘the final solution’.”

Tiruchi Siva (DMK): Terming the government’s decision as “unconstitutional and unwarranted”, Siva questioned the power under which the Centre made the move. He said Article 370(3) states that the recommendation of the Constituent Assembly of the State is necessary before the President issues such a notification. He cited the Supreme Court Constitution Bench in case of Sampat Prakash vs. State of J&K to state that Article 370 is permanent, not temporary. “The architects of the Constitution, members of the Constituent Assembly were all elected, were all people who were from various quarters, from various areas; and they were all experts. After deep deliberations, this Article 370 was provided, giving special status to the people of Kashmir for various other reasons,” he said, and asked whether the Centre had taken the views of the people of J&K or of the State Legislature. “Tomorrow, the same powers will be vested with you and you can convert any State into a Union Territory. It may be Tamil Nadu, it may be Bihar, it may be Bengal, it may be Maharashtra,” he said.

Appasamy Navaneethakrishnan (AIADMK): Expressing support, AIADMK MP A Navaneethakrishnan said that under sub-clause (3) of Article 370, the President can declare that the Article ceases to be operative or stays operative with certain exceptions and hence Article 370 is temporary in nature. “Now, the central government has rightly brought forward these two Resolutions and also two enactments. Hon. Amma was well known for upholding sovereignty and integrity. So, we, the AIADMK government, Amma’s government, the AIADMK party, support the two resolutions and also support the Reorganisation Bill and the Reservation Bill,” he said.

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Prasanna Acharya (BJD): Supporting the government, Acharya drew attention to the plight of Kashmiri Pandits. “The integrity, safety and security of India is first… We are a regional party. We have our regional aspiration. But for us, our motherland, Bharat Mata, is the utmost… I would once again reiterate my point that the freedom, integrity, sovereignty and honour of Bharat Mata is utmost for us. Therefore, my only submission is that so far as Kashmir is concerned, let us all rise above petty politics,” he said.

EXPRESS EDIT/OPINION | Edit: Rupture in history, stitching a future | PB Mehta writes: Blood and betrayal | Ram Madhav writes: Correcting a historic blunder | Manish Sabharwal writes: For Naya Kashmir | Imad Ul Riyaz writes: We are just at the beginning | C. Raja Mohan writes: Possibilities in the Northwest

K Ravindra Kumar (TDP): Stating that since 1949, scores of people have been killed in J&K, terrorism has been on the rise, and development hit, Kumar said Article 370 deprived people living in areas along J&K’s international border of the benefits of jobs and education. “There was no national security for the last seven decades. The governments in power, irrespective of whoever was in power, could not provide sufficient security to them for leading a peaceful life… After the introduction of this Jammu and Kashmir Re-organisation Bill, at least, this time… people of J&K must be feeling relieved from all these tensions… J&K has now become a part of our country,” said Kumar.

Vaiko (MDMK): “You played with the sentiments of the people of Kashmir… For the last few days, Army personnel in large numbers are being deployed there… Kashmir should not become a Kosovo. Kashmir should not become an East Timor. Kashmir should not become a South Sudan. This may happen… Now, J&K has been made a powder keg. I am worried… Today, on this particular Bill, I shed my tears of blood,” he said.

Read | ‘Horrifying feeling’: Kashmiri traders, 3000 kms away in Kochi, are on their nerves

Vandana Chavan (NCP): “It would have been so much better if this step was taken after discussion with leaders of the state and by building a consensus… if the will of the people of Kashmir was taken into consideration… if there was a democratic process… we hope that the government takes care that there is no backlash and there is no bloodshed. NCP decides to abstain from voting,” said Chavan.

KK Ragesh (CBI-M): “We are witnessing assassination of the Constitution, the democratic ethos and secular fabric of our country is being questioned… Our Constitution is under threat… They are killing democracy. They are destroying it. There is a kind of alienation that is taking place in J&K. I request the government not to do it because we do not want a Palestine state of India,” said Ragesh.

Sanjay Raut (Shiv Sena): “When you were talking about scrapping Article 370… not only in the entire country, but I think in the entire world, wherever there are Indians, there was a festive and happy atmosphere,” said Raut, adding that it was akin to “killing an evil, destroying a blot that this country, this Constitution, had been carrying for 70 years”. “Those who oppose, they are the same people who exploited the population of J&K for 70 years,” he said.

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