With Congress leaders split on scrapping of the special status to Jammu-Kashmir, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi Monday slammed the BJP government saying “national integration isn’t furthered by unilaterally tearing apart J&K”.
He also warned that the government’s move will have “grave implications for our national security”.
On Monday, attempts by the Congress members in Rajya Sabha to stop a Bill seeking to bifurcate J&K into two union territories from sailing through fell apart after the party was hit by desertions. The Bill, surprisingly, received the backing of staunch critics like the AAP, BSP and TDP.
Speaking in Rajya Sabha, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said: “I never thought that a day would come when my state, which is India’s head… that head will be chopped off… It is not merely a head or a crown…”
National integration isn’t furthered by unilaterally tearing apart J&K, imprisoning elected representatives and violating our Constitution. This nation is made by its people, not plots of land.
This abuse of executive power has grave implications for our national security.
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) August 6, 2019
Party leader P Chidambaram called it a “black day”. “Momentarily, you think you have scored a victory. The drum beats that you will hear on the streets will certainly encourage you to believe that you have scored a signal victory, or, as one of the members said, you have corrected, a so-called injustice of history. You are wrong, and history will prove you to be wrong and future generations will realise what a grave mistake this House is making today,” he said.
Earlier, the party’s chief whip Bhubaneshwar Kalita resigned from Rajya Sabha protesting against its stand. Another Congress Rajya Sabha MP, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, also national spokesperson, said that in “personal capacity” it was hard to oppose the Centre’s move while expressing concern over the security situation in Kashmir.
Outside Parliament, veteran party leader Janardan Dwivedi said a “mistake” had been “rectified”. “It is not a new issue… Ever since Independence, many of the freedom fighters had been demanding that Article 370 should be removed… An Independence-era mistake has been rectified and it is a matter of national satisfaction,” he said.
Jaiveer Shergill, another Congress national spokesperson, tweeted: “My personal point of view: I support abrogation of Art 370… but only in accordance with provisions & methodology provided by the Constitution of India which mandates consent of J&K state assembly…”