Kerala, Tamil Nadu parties ‘concerned’ over Article 370 scrapping

CPI CPM Tamil Nadu Protest Kashmir special status - The Federal
Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)’s Tamil Nadu unit also called for a state-wide protest against the Centre’s bill dividing Jammu and Kashmir into two Union territories — Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. Photo - CPIM Tamilnadu/Twitter

Several parties and groups have protested against the Centre’s decision to scrap the special status of Jammu Kashmir given under the Constitution’s Article 370 and the move to divide the state into two Union territories — Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

Kerala’s ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) on Monday expressed deep concern over the scrapping of Article 370. Senior Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader and LDF convener A Vijayaraghavan told the media that the party will protest and hold a public rally in Kerala against the unconstitutional action of the Narendra Modi government.

“Through this move, both democracy and secularism in the country have been brutally massacred by the Sangh Parivar,” he said.

The LDF state committee said the BJP’s aim was to undermine democratic rights of Indian people by stripping the constitutional mandate and making them believe that the party is safeguarding the rights.

The LDF has asked to organise protest meetings, rallies and conventions across 14 states to mark their opposition against the Centre’s move. The party also said that the way in which bills are passed in Parliament raises doubts over the intentions of the government.

Police arrested over 100 agitators belonging to Muslim and pro-Tamil outfits for attempting to besiege Raj Bhavan in Chennai in protest against the Centre’s move to scrap Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370.

In the morning, Tamil Nadu Kongu Peravai and Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam members and including the Manithaneya Makkal Katchi party MLA Thameemun Ansari gathered near the Raj Bhavan and raised slogans against the Centre for scrapping Article 370.

When they started a march to besiege Raj Bhavan, police arrested them, including Ansari.

Also read: Cricketers from Ladakh can represent J&K for now in Ranji: Vinod Rai

Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)’s Tamil Nadu unit also called for a state-wide protest against the Centre’s bill dividing Jammu and Kashmir into two Union territories — Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

CPM activists gathered at two places in Chennai and staged a protest demanding withdrawal of the scrapping of the special status of J&K.

Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president KS Alagiri said that the Centre could even do the same to Tamil Nadu and bring the state under its control.

“The agenda of the RSS is to destroy the secularism of the country. The BJP’s decision in Jammu and Kashmir is an assassination of the democracy,” he said.

He further claimed that Kashmir would not have gone with Pakistan, if Nehru had not been there. “But, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is trying to change history,” he said.

Strong opposition also came from DMK on Monday in the Rajya Sabha after the Union government revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.

Also read: Modi-Shah surgical strike on Article 370 exposes Constitutional flaw

The ruling AIADMK, however, supported the bifurcation of the state and said there was “no need to worry, since the constitutional provisions were temporary that the Centre had brought in the resolutions and bills”.

The DMK termed it “unconstitutional and unwarranted”. DMK MP, Tiruchi Siva questioned the urgency regarding the move. The party also questioned whether the Centre has any plans to turn other states like Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Maharashtra as Union Territories and asked for an assurance that this will not be done.