New Delhi:Senior Congress leader and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha and Former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Ghulam Nabi Azad condemned the government’s proposal to revoke Article 370, abrogating the special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Responding to Home Minister Amit Shah’s statement in the House, Ghulam Nabi Azad accused the BJP of murdering the Constitution.
A massive ruckus broke out in Rajya Sabha as the home minister proposed to revoke Article 370 and bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories – namely Jammu-Kashmir and Ladakh. Several Opposition parties staged a protest in the Parliament. PDP, Trinamool Congress, DMK MPs sat on dharna on the floor in the well of Rajya Sabha.
Labelling the ruling BJP as “traitorous” for its decision to repeal Article 370 by employing a presidential decree, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad on Monday said the government had today “cut off the head of India” and destroyed the history of Jammu and Kashmir for votes.
Azad, a former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, said that by revoking special status of Jammu and Kashmir, the BJP government “murdered the Constitution of India” as he underlined that it was Article 370 which linked J&K to India.
“I say that Maharaja Hari Singh didn’t chose Pakistan over India despite being of the same religion because he trusted in our secular framework. But, that trust has been broken,” he said.
He also threw the “tukde tukde” barb, long used by the BJP minister and leaders, for bifurcating the state and making Jammu and Kashmir a union territory.
“They have not just scrapped Article 370, Article 35-A, but also divided the state. This government has decapitated India. Jammu and Kashmir was the head of India… Jammu Kashmir ka tukde tukde kar diya (they have broken the state into pieces),” he said.
Saying that the decision, taken after the government moved thousands of troops to the state and placed former CMs Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti and Sajad Gani Lone under house arrest, was like playing with the people of the state and a strategic misadventure in a border state.
“These people (the BJP) have come to power lately. They do not know… have not considered the strategic aspects… we have a long border with China, we have a border with Pakistan and with Pakistan Occupied Kashmir… to play around with border state, its people… it is being a traitor to the country,” Azad said.
The Congress leader said that the government has to count on people’s cooperation in a border state and reminded that the people of Jammu and Kashmir, in 1947, had fought back the Pakistani intruders just armed with sticks. “In a border state, one cannot stop the enemy just with the help of the armed forces,” he said.
Reacting to the development, senior Congress leader and former home minister P Chidambaram described the move as a catastrophic step. “We anticipated a misadventure, but did not think in our wildest dreams that they will take such a catastrophic step.”
“Today is a black day in the constitutional history of India,” Ghulam Nabi Azad said outside Parliament.
PDP MPs Mir Fayaz and Nazir Ahmed Laway were asked to leave the house after they tried to tear the copies of the Constitution. Reacting ion the ruckus, Ghulam Nabi Azad said, “I strongly condemn the act of two-three MPs [PDP’s Mir Fayaz and Nazir Ahmed Laway who attempted to tear Constitution]. We stand by the Constitution of India. Hum Hindustan ke samvidhaan ki raksha ke liye jaan ki baazi laga denge [We will do anything to protect the Constitution of India], but today BJP has murdered Constitution”
Mayawati-led BSP has lent support to the government’s proposal.