Congress seeks PM’s statement in Parliament on J&K

Congress leaders Dr. Karan Singh and Ghulam Nabi Azad address the media on the Jammu and Kashmir issue in New Delhi on August 3, 2019.   | Photo Credit: R.V. Moorthy

The Congress on Saturday demanded a statement from Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Parliament on the Centre and the State administration’s advisory to curtail the Amarnath Yatra and deployment of additional troops in Kashmir.

“Since Parliament is in session, we will definitely demand that no less than the Prime Minister should make a statement in both the Houses of Parliament. The Government of India and the Prime Miniter are duty bound to take the people into confidence through Parliament,” said Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad at a press conference.


Mr. Azad, who has been a former Chief Minister of the State, claimed that never before had the Amarnath Yatra been curtailed by 15 days in the past 30 years. It was suspended only for a few days in the aftermath of a terror attack during the pilgrimage period, he noted.

Barring the Pulwama attack, the Opposition leader asserted, the State had not seen too many terror attacks and that was why the government should clarify about need to deploy additional troops.

“This reminds us of what the V.P. Singh government in 1990, supported by the BJP, did to our Kashmiri Pandit brothers by taking them out overnight,” said Mr Azad.

And amidst rumours of a possible move to end Article 370, Mr. Azad said the constitutional provision served as a bridge between Kashmir and the rest of the India and “if it is broken, then there would be many other problems”.

Karan Singh’s charge

Karan Singh, who is from the former royal family of Kashmir, was also at the press conference where he charged the Centre of spreading a sense of panic and fear. “Everybody there is in a state of shock and panic. They are wondering what is going to happen to the State,” he said.

Mr. Azad and his senior party colleagues such as P. Chidambaram, Ambika Soni, Dr. Karan Singh and Anand Sharma are part of the former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh-headed Congress Strategic Group on Kashmir that discussed the situation on Friday.


Chidambaram sees ‘some misadventure’

Mr. Chidamabaram, who had been a Home Minister, said the “Union Home Ministry is up to some misadventure'

When asked to comment on rumours of a possible trifurcation of the State, he said, “I won't anticipate what misadventure they are up to, but the Home Ministry is preparing for a misadventure.” 

To a query on the legal options available to the government to remove Article 35-A, he said, “Just because you can make the provisions, it doesn't mean you can unmake them.” 

Mr. Anand Sharma, who is the Congress Deputy Leader in the Rajya Sabha, told The Hindu that the Opposition would seek the Prime Minister's statement on Monday. 

“We want to tell the government that Jammu and Kashmir are an integral part of India and we stand with the people of Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh," he said.

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Printable version | Nov 26, 2020 6:52:32 PM |

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