Jammu and Kashmir Assembly was on Tuesday rocked by a chain of protests, walkouts and two adjournments over Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s remarks that those working to scrap Article 370 will be doing a big “anti-national” act as BJP demanded that her comments be expunged. During the Zero Hour, BJP MLA Rajiv Jasrotia drew the attention of Speaker Kavinder Gupta and the House towards the remarks made by Mehbooba in the state Assembly yesterday.
“I want to draw your attention towards the chief minister’s remarks. Some want autonomy, some self rule and BJP has its own ideology. BJP has the core issue of abrogating Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir and we are not anti-nationals,” Jasrotia, who is an MLA from Hiranagar, said. He demanded that her remarks should be expunged as those opposing Article 370 are not anti-nationals.
As the Speaker agreed to the demand, the members of NC and Congress were up on their feet in opposition, terming the move as illegal. NC member Ali Mohmmad Sagar, flanked by other opposition members, asked the Speaker, “How can you do it (expunge the CM’s remarks). You are making a mockery of this House.”
The members walked into the Well of the House, raising anti-government slogans, and demanded that the government should resign over this issue. PDP members also staged a walkout over the expunging of the remarks. Protests, sloganeering and noisy scenes forced the Speaker to adjourn the House for 15 minutes.
Earlier in the morning, Independent MLA from Udhampur, Pawan Gupta was marshalled out of the Assembly when he created an uproar and protested against Mehbooba’s remarks. BJP MLA Ravinder Raina had also raised the issue soon after the House began this morning, claiming that Article 370 is defrauding the people of Jammu and Kashmir and its abrogation is the core ideology of BJP.
“BJP does not have full majority. If the BJP gets two-thirds majority, it will scrap Article 370. Let there be a discussion in the House over Article 370,” Raina said.
In a clear message to ally BJP, the CM had yesterday said anybody weakening Article 370, which grants special status to the state, will be doing the “biggest anti-national act”. “There are some forces within this country who think that by scrapping Article 370, the issue of Kashmir will be resolved and everything will be alright,” she said.
BJP’s stated position is that Article 370 should be scrapped for total integration of Jammu and Kashmir with India.
“There is a conspiracy being hatched against our culture and state. Those who speak against Article 370, they don’t know that the Article 370, which is our special status, is in our character because of which we have dismissed the two ideological (narrative of two-nation theory) and also religion, and have shaken hands with India,” Mehbooba said.