Attacking the government in the Rajya Sabha, former Union Minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Monday (August 5) said that, by repealing Article 370 of the Constitution, the government has committed a “cardinal blunder”, a “fatal legal error”.
The former union minister said that he strongly feared that, by dismembering Jammu & Kashmir, BJP was pushing thousands of youth towards violence. Article 370 of the constitution gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
Terming scrapping of the Article 370 as a “black day in the history of India, Chidambaram said, “Momentarily you may think you have scored a victory… drum beats on streets may force you to think that you have corrected a so-called injustice but history will prove you… Future generations will realise what a grave mistake this House is making today.”
Chidambaram also said, “This will be a catastrophic blunder,” and added that Congress will stoutly oppose it. Attacking the BJP, Chidambaram said that the Rajya Sabha, instead of protecting the rights of states, was passing bills which were on the concurrent list and accused the BJP of reducing states as their colonies and municipal administrations.
“What you are doing today sends a very wrong signal to every state of country. We will sit here, listen to you, and vote against what you are doing,” he said and questioned “how Article 370 can be modified using Article 370? … I know it was your manifesto promise… but in repealing Article 370 you are unleashing forces which you cannot control.”
Chidambaram said that, in J&K, majority of the youth are with India and want protection from India while it was also true that a number of young men have taken to violence, who want to get freedom from India but no one supports them. He added that there are others who have pelted stones for reasons they think was good to them.
“In fact, overwhelming majority wants more autonomy and no cessation from India. I genuinely fear you are pushing thousands and thousands of young men from this column to 100 others by dismembering the state.”
Chidambaram said that the government has “dismembered” the state of Jammu and Kashmir by “mischievously misinterpreting Article 370 of the Constitution” and cautioned that, if this can be done to Jammu and Kashmir, then this can be done to every other state in India.
“Why this mechanism will not apply to any other state of the country,” he said and added that this government can dismiss the elected government, impose President’s rule, dissolve the elected assembly and Parliament can take the power of the state assembly.
He added that the government can move a resolution, and Parliament can approve it and any state be it Odisha, West Bengal or Tamil Nadu can be dismembered. He said that this will send a very wrong signal to all states and appealed to the Home Minister Amit Shah sitting in the House.
“Stop, pause, reflect on what you are doing… Don’t dismember Jammu & Kashmir… Don’t do that in the name of people of India… Do all wrongs but for heaven sake do not dismember Jammu & Kashmir. It will be a cardinal blunder,” he said.