Left parties protest amendment to Article 370, vow to continue fighting

Sitaram Yechury and D.Raja with the party's activists staging a protest at Parliament Street in New Delhi.   | Photo Credit: The Hindu

The Left parties staged a demonstration at the Jantar Mantar here, slamming the Modi government for scrapping Article 370 and demanded that the earlier status of the state be restored.

The government on Monday abolished Article 370 that gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir and moved a separate bill to bifurcate the state into two separate union territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

The protesters included senior Left leaders like CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, Prakash Karat, CPI general secretary D Raja, CPI(ML) general secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya, Brinda Karat and Atul Anjan among others.

Coming down heavily on the government, Yechury said abolishing Article 370 was an attack on the democracy which was done “secretively” by the ruling BJP.

“This protest is just the start, we will take to the streets and continue this fight. Unity does not mean territory alone, it involves unity of the people also,” he said.

The Left parties will hold an all-India protest on Tuesday to resist the move. In Delhi, the protest will begin from Mandi House at 11 a.m.

The protesters began a march on Parliament Street but were stopped by police. An effigy was torched during the protest.

Raja demanded that the Modi government restore the status of the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

“This measure is bound to dismantle the federal principle of the Constitution. We demand the status of Jammu and Kashmir state must be restored,” he said.

He also expressed concern over how Parliament was kept out of the loop by the government in making the decision to abrogate Article 370.

“The Parliament is becoming redundant. This is not the Parliament visualised by Dr. Ambedkar. They are undermining and insulting Parliament and the BJP is taking regressive measures in Kashmir,” Raja said.

He charged that by “destroying” Jammu and Kashmir, the government is “destroying” the democracy and there is a threat that the country is going to be under a “fascist” regime.

Senior CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat demanded the “release” of political leaders in Kashmir and questioned the abrogation of Article 370 without any reference to the people of the state.

“We have heard about states being divided to create new states with new powers, that also after years of dialogue. Are the people of Jammu and Kashmir lesser citizens of India that without any reference to them, you want to divide their state and deprive them of powers that a full state has,” she said.

The government claims this is going to help integrate India. But, India can not be integrated without political dialogue and understanding, she said.

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Printable version | May 10, 2021 8:03:41 AM |

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