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Modi govt. must repeal offending laws in J&K, restore statehood, says Chidambaram

Former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram. File   | Photo Credit: AP

Former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on Monday said the Narendra Modi government should “repeal” the offending laws in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) and restore full Statehood.

Ahead of a proposed meeting between Prime Minister Modi and political leaders from J&K on June 24, Mr. Chidambaram, in a series of tweets, said J&K should not be treated as a “piece of real estate” and the rights of the people must be recognised.

“Congress Party’s position that full Statehood must be restored to J&K should clear any doubt or ambiguity. What was made under the Constitution cannot be unmade by an Act of Parliament misinterpreting and misusing the provisions of the Constitution,” the former minister said, adding that the challenge to “dismembering” J&K was pending for nearly two years before the Supreme Court.

“In the monsoon session, Parliament should repeal the offending laws and restore the status quo ante in J&K. That is the only way to draw the starting line for a political resolution of the Kashmir issue. J&K was a ‘state’ that signed an Instrument of Accession and acceded to India. It must enjoy that status forever. J&K is not a piece of ‘real estate’. J&K is ‘people’. Their rights and wishes must be respected,” he added.

His comments come a day after party general secretary and chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala reiterated the point raised in the Congress Working Committee (CWC) resolution of August 6, 2019, that full Statehood to J&K should be restored and elections held.

Mr. Surjewala, however, steered clear of taking a position on Article 370.

In its August 6 resolution, the CWC had “deplored the unilateral, brazen and totally undemocratic manner in which Article 370 of the Constitution was abrogated and the State of Jammu and Kashmir was dismembered by misinterpreting the provisions of the Constitution”.

“Article 370 was conceived and crafted by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Vallabhai Patel and Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, assisted by N. Gopalaswamy lyengar and V.P. Menon. Article 370 is the Constitutional recognition of the terms of the Instrument of Accession between the State of Jammu & Kashmir and India. It deserved to be honoured until it was amended, after consultation with all sections of the people, and strictly in accordance with the Constitution of India,” read the CWC resolution.


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Printable version | Jul 30, 2021 4:55:31 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/modi-govt-must-repeal-offending-laws-in-jk-restore-statehood-says-chidambaram/article34877318.ece

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