Centre moves resolution to scrap Article 370 in J&K: Rahul, Mehbooba, Omar slam BJP for 'unilaterally' tearing state apart; Mamata demands arrested leaders be released

  • In an announcement that triggered massive chaos in Rajya Sabha Home Minister Amit Shah has announced that the government has decided to repeal Article 370 of the Constitution

  • According to reports, President Ram Nath Kovind has signed on the Constitution(application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 2019

  • While most politicians from BJP hail the announcement as 'historic', others mark the decision as the 'darkest day in democracy'

In an announcement that triggered massive chaos in the Rajya Sabha on Monday, Home Minister Amit Shah moved a resolution in Rajya Sabha to revoke Article 370 and Article 35A from Jammu and Kashmir, which grants special status to the state. The Centre proposed the bifurcation of the state into two union territories, Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh, a bold and far-reaching decision that seeks to redraw the map and future of a region at the centre of a protracted militancy movement. President Ram Nath Kovind has signed the Constitution (application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 2019, formalising this.

The Bill has been taken up by Lok Sabha today for consideration and passage.

Reacting to the news, former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee broke their silence and criticised the resolution.  Rahul slammed the BJP-led Centre and said that national integration cannot be achieved by "unilaterally" tearing the state apart.

Meanwhile, Mamata lambasted the BJP government for arresting politicians in Kashmir. On Monday, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti was arrested and National Conference (NC) chief Omar Abdullah was detained and taken to Hari Niwas, a VVIP state guest house. While the reason for the arrests are not known, reports say, it was in “preventive detention" to avoid any kind of destabilization in the region, following the passage of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Bill.

In reaction to these arrests, Mamata said, 'I don't support Article 370. Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah are not terrorists, they should be released.' 

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Most politicians on Monday, when the resolution was announced, had hailed the announcement as 'historic', while some members of the Opposition described the decision as the 'darkest day in democracy'.

President of the Jammu and Kashmir PDP, Mehbooba Mufti in a tweet said, "It (the announcement) will have catastrophic consequences for the subcontinent." She further blamed the government of terrorising the people of Jammu and Kashmir and stated that 'India has failed Kashmir in keeping its promises.'

Omar Abdullah, vice-president of NC and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister called the decision 'shocking' and stated that this move 'was a total betrayal' of the people's trust in the government.

He further went on to state that the scrapping of Article 370 and Article 35 A 'raise fundamental questions on the state's accession' which were 'on the very terms enunciated by these articles'.

Historian Ramachandra Guha likened the current President's move to one of his predecessor's — that of Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, who passed the Emergency order in 1975.

Human rights and legal aid organisation from Pakistan AGHS echoed similar thoughts as Abdulla and Mufti, saying, "India has violated the mandate of the Kashmiri people and subjected them to the violence unleashed by state."

Tamil Nadu's DMK party president MK Stalin said, "Democracy has been murdered."

The CPI(M) termed the move an "attack" on the Constitution and said the Left parties will hold a protest against the move on Monday. Sitaram Yechury, leader of the Communist Party of India tweeted a photo about the whereabouts of the protest.

Demanding that the government "end the seige in Kashmir", CPI-ML Liberation party tweeted that the government through its decision had ended the last bridge between the state and the constitution.

Meanwhile, national general secretary of BJP Ram Madhav hailed it as a 'glorious day'.

Former Minister of External Affairs and BJP senior leader Sushma Swaraj called it a 'bold decision' taken by the government.

BJP Rajya Sabha member and former finance minister Arun Jaitley congratulated the prime minister for correcting a 'historic blunder' that 'came in through the back door.'

Union Minister of State for Defence Shripad Naik described the Centre's move on Article 370 of the Constitution, as a "historic and bold decision".

Other BJP members like party MLA from Uttar Pradesh  Dhirendra Singh and BJP chief Satpal Singh Satti also called it a 'historic day'.

RSS congratulated the government on the move, claiming it was 'highly necessary for the interests of the whole country including Jammu and Kashmir.'

BJP ally, Shiv Sena's president Uddhav Thackeray said the government's move on Article 370 is fulfillment of the dream of late Bal Thackeray and Atal Bihari Vajpayee. "Today, our country has become fully independent," Thackeray said. He asked the opposition parties to "leave aside their political shoes" and support sovereignty of India as reported by PTI.
While Shiv Sena leader and current President of Yuva Sena, Aditya Thackery reacted to Centre's decision by saying that 'Kashmir now truly a part of India.'

AAP, too, has extended its support to the Centre's resolution on removing Article 370, with its chief Arvind Kejriwal stating that the party hopes "this will bring peace and development in the state."

 

Veteran BJP leader LK Advani said, "I am happy with the government's decision to revoke Article 370 and I believe that it is a bold step towards strengthening national integration."

"The scrapping of Article 370 has been a part of the BJP's core ideology since the days of the Jana Sangh. I congratulate Prime Minister Narendra Modi and home minister Amit Shah for this historic initiative and pray for peace, prosperity and progress in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh," he added.

Leader of Opposition in the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly and former chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, Chandrababu Naidu supported the Central government’s move to scrap Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) supremo Sharad Pawar remarked that the Union government should have taken the leaders of mainstream political parties in Kashmir into confidence before making the decision.

In the Rajya Sabha, former Union home minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram said, "Momentarily you may think you have scored a victory...drum beats on the streets may force you to think that you have corrected a so-called injustice. But history will prove you wrong... Future generations will realise what a grave mistake this House is making.

He described the move as a "catastrophic blunder" and added that the Congress would strongly oppose it.

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Updated Date: Aug 06, 2019 14:28:47 IST