Revoking of Article 370 | Congress MPs tear resolution copy

Opposition leaders (L-R) Manoj Jha (RJD), Tiruchi Siva (DMK), P. Chidambaram (Congress), Ghulam Nabi Azad (Congress), Derek O’ Brien (TMC ) and others in New Delhi.

Opposition leaders (L-R) Manoj Jha (RJD), Tiruchi Siva (DMK), P. Chidambaram (Congress), Ghulam Nabi Azad (Congress), Derek O’ Brien (TMC ) and others in New Delhi.   | Photo Credit: R.V. Moorthy

Cracks in Opposition seen as BJD, BSP, TDP back scrapping of special status for J&K

Protesting over the manner in which Union Home Minister Amit Shah introduced the resolution to amend Article 370 in the Lok Sabha on Monday, Congress members Hibi Eden and Ramya Haridas tore up a copy of the resolution on the floor of the House.

Opposition MPs from the Congress including Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, the Trinamool Congress and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) walked out of the Lok Sabha since the government only placed the resolution nullifying Article 370 that provides for special status to Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).

Deputy leader of the Lok Sabha and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh accused the Opposition of disrespecting the Chair.

Cracks in the Opposition could be seen as parties such as the Biju Janata Dal, the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Telugu Desam Party supported the resolution while others such as the All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) did not walk out despite their opposition to the government move. Mr. Shah introduced the presidential resolution soon after the Lok Sabha passed the Surrogacy Bill. Though Congress members protested, Speaker Om Birla allowed the introduction by a voice vote.

However, loud protests began after Mr. Birla started Zero Hour.

Explained | How Kashmir's Special Status and Article 370 are being changed

T.R. Baalu of the DMK asked the Speaker to give protection to the Opposition members to express themselves while the AIMIM’s Mr. Owaisi asked why the Speaker allowed a division of votes.

“Whenever the Opposition asked for division, I have allowed division,” Mr. Birla said.

National Conference member Hasnain Masoodi, who represents the Anantnag Lok Sabha seat in J&K, said the people of the State were in the dark about the development, with all channels of communication cut off and former Chief Ministers Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti and Farooq Abdullah all in detention. “Where is the Bill? This House doesn’t have a tradition of bringing a resolution before a Bill,” said Trinamool’s Saugata Roy. Responding to the Opposition’s points, the Speaker said their apprehensions could be answered on Tuesday when the House takes up the debate for passage.

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Printable version | Apr 3, 2020 12:20:20 PM |

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