Amending Article 370, a fatal legal error, says P. Chidambaram

Chidambaram appealed to the government not to “dismember the State” and warned it had committed a “cardinal blunder.”

August 05, 2019 11:07 pm | Updated November 28, 2021 10:27 am IST - New Delhi

Congress leader P. Chidambaram.

Congress leader P. Chidambaram.

Senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram on Monday said the government cannot modify Article 370 by using another provision of Article 370 . By doing so it made a “fatal legal error” and it would discover this in due course.

The Rajya Sabha passed a resolution moved by Home Minister Amit Shah that would repeal the provisions under Article 370 of the Constitution, which granted a special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

“How can Article 370 be modified using Article 370?... I know it was your manifesto promise...but in repealing A 370, you are unleashing forces which you cannot control,” he said.

While introducing the resolution earlier in the day, Mr. Shah had said, “Under Article 370(3), there is a provision that the President, on recommendation of Parliament, has the power to amend or cease the implementation of Article 370 , through a public notification.” He later clarified to Mr. Chidambaram that the said provision has to be read with Article 371 D (Special provisions with respect to the State of Andhra Pradesh.)

Mr. Chidambaram appealed to the government not to “dismember the State” and warned it had committed a “cardinal blunder.”


“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. This will be a catastrophic blunder,” he said.

He said the State was being reduced to the state of municipal administrations and instead of protecting the rights of the States, the Rajya Sabha was passing Bills which were on the concurrent list.

Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said the State’s head, considered India’s crown, has been “chopped off” and it was a “matter of shame” that the Centre had reduced the State to a non-entity with Lt. Governor’s rule.

“The way an atom bomb explodes, such an explosion took place in the House today when the Home Minister arrived,” Mr. Azad said in the Upper House. He dared the government to bring a Bill to convert Gujarat into a Union Territory, saying it should not take things lightly, and accused the Centre of muzzling the State’s history while being “drunk” with power.

Tiruchi Siva (DMK) termed the move unconstitutional as the Constitution says that only the Assembly should decide on such crucial issues.

Asserting that the Bill should be rejected lock stock and barrel, Vaiko (MDMK) said he feared that the move would lead to Kashmir becoming like "Kosovo, South Sudan and East Timur" in future.

“It will be internationalised by the UN. There are countries which are opposed to us. There are enemies to India. They will use this card. The UN and Human Rights Council will definitely interfere,” he said.

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