A claim made by National Conference MP Hasnain Masoodi on Jan Sangh founder Syama Prasad Mookerjee’s stand on Article 370 evoked strong objections from the BJP in the Lok Sabha, with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh asking him to either authenticate it or apologise to the House.
After an uproar by the treasury benches, Speaker Om Birla directed that Masoodi’s remarks be expunged. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said the member’s statement was against historical facts and should be removed from Lok Sabha’s records, while Home Minister Amit Shah called the remark “far from the truth”.
Opposing the move to scrap special status, Masoodi called it a black day for the relationship between Jammu and Kashmir and the Union of India.
“Please have the courage to listen — that on August 15, 1947, Jammu and Kashmir was an independent nation. We were neither with Pakistan nor with Hindustan. When the Maharaja decided to accede, it was conditional. He accepted the governor general’s proposal due to exigent circumstances, but had promised to consult the people of his kingdom. This was the governor general’s communique and not a love letter, when you went to the Security Council and said that you had made up your mind to conduct a referendum…” he said in Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
Speaking about the “self-protective nature of 370”, Masoodi said that the government “cannot bring an amendment in 370 through a constitutional order”.
“You (government) are behaving both as lawyer and judge. Why not consult the people of Jammu and Kashmir first?…” he added.