The Centre on Monday repealed Article 370 which granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir and a resolution in this regard was moved in the Rajya Sabha by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, amidst uproar by the opposition in the Upper House.
“All clauses of Article 370 of the Constitution, which gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir, will not be applicable in the state,” Shah said while moving the resolution and added that it will come into effect after the President signs giving his assent and the central government notifies it.
Soon after Shah moved the resolution, a gazette notification in this regard was issued by the President.
Asserting that Article 370 did not allow proper integration of Jammu and Kashmir with India and should have been removed without delay, Shah said that the BJP-led government had the “political will” to take decisions concerning the “temporary” provision in the constitution.
“Article 370 has been regarded as a temporary provision and it had to go. It should have gone long back. But nobody showed will power to do so due to vote bank politics. We are not worried about vote banks nor do we lack political will under Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” he said.
Justifying the move, he said the people of Jammu and Kashmir were not receiving any benefits due to Article 370 and the politicians were allowing corruption to flourish despite the state getting maximum amount of fund for its development.
“There should not be a second’s delay in abrogating Article 370,” he said.
Opposing the move, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad accused the BJP-led government of “murdering constitution and democracy” by abrogating Article 370 and making other changes with respect to Jammu and Kashmir.
Azad, a former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, said that Article 370 provides a special relationship to Jammu and Kashmir.
He spoke immediately after Shah introduced the resolution and also a bill for reorganisation of Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories along with a resolution for abrogating Article 370. Shah also introduced the bill to provide 10 per cent reservation to the economically backward sections.
“We stand by the Constitution of India. We can lay down our lives to protect the Constitution. We condemn what the government is doing. The government has murdered the democracy and constitution,” Azad said.
He said Article 370 is “historical” and integrates the state with the country.
“In seventy years, lakhs of people have made sacrifices, personnel of security personnel have been martyred. Whenever needed, the people of the state have stood with the rest of the country,” he said.
Azad also condemned the action of two PDP MPs who tried to tear the copies of the constitution.
During the protest, Mir Mohammad Fayaz of PDP tore his shirt and also attempted to tear a copy of the Constitution. Fayaz along with Nazir Ahmed Laway, also from PDP were marshalled out from the House on the direction of Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu.
Following Amit Shah’s announcement leaders of opposition parties Congress, TMC, DMK and PDP protested the government’s move while the BSP, BJP, the AIADMK, Shiv Sena and some other parties supported the government.
NDA constituent Janata Dal-United opposed the repealing of Article 370 and staged a walkout in the House in protest.
BSP’s Satish Chandra Mishra said his party was supporting the government’s bill and the move to remove Article 370. Prasanna Acharya of BJD also supported the government’s move.
“In a real sense today, Jammu and Kashmir has become a part of India. My party supports this resolution. We are a regional party but for us nation is first,” Acharya said.
AIADMK’s A. Navaneethakrishnan said, “Amma was well known for upholding sovereignty and integrity. So AIADMK party supports the two resolutions, Reorganisation Bill and the Reservation Bill.”
Opposing the move, CPI-M’s TK Rangarajan said today was black day and the Indian constitution has been raped by the BJP government.
“You didn’t consult people of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. You dissolved Assembly, you don’t want to hold any election. You have taken another 35000 Army people there. You’re creating another Palestine,” he said.
BJP’s Bhupendera Yadav slammed Congress over the issue of Jammu and Kashmir and accused it of not doing anything for the development of the state. (ANI)