Reactions to proposed J&K bifurcation: A historic blunder corrected, says Assam CM Sonowal

According to the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation bill, introduced by Amit Shah, the State will be bifurcated into two territories — Jammu and Kashmir division and Ladakh

August 05, 2019 12:29 pm | Updated August 06, 2019 11:44 am IST

Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal.

Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal.

After the government moved a Bill in Rajya Sabha proposing the bifurcation of the State of Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories — Jammu and Kashmir division and Ladakh, political leaders across the country responded to the issue.

Follow live updates from the Parliament here.

According to the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation bill, introduced by Mr. Shah, the UT in Ladakh will have no legislature like Chandigarh while the other UT of Jammu and Kashmir will have a legislature like Delhi and Puducherry.

Here are some of the reactions:


Gorakhpur MLA gets moving on buying land in Kashmir

Amid jubilation by the BJP cadres, the local party MLA said he has already begun the process of buying land in Kashmir.

“I have initiated the process to buy land in Kashmir and have spoken to my friend Yasir there in this regard,” said a jubilant Gorakhpur MLA Radha Mohan Das Agarwal , celebrating the revocation of the controversial Article 370 and distributing sweets.

“It is the beginning of a new era in the country,” said an euphoric Agarwal. “Since Independence, the locals in Kashmir had been facing double whammy. They had to tolerate the hooliganism of the anti- national politicians. And the youths had to join groups of stone pelters as bonded labourers, often suffering bullet injuries from the paramilitary forces,” he said. - PTI




Former Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy , told reporters at Chikkere village in Ramanagar: “It will be good if the abolition of Article 370 and 35A brings peace in Jammu and Kashmir.” He also underscored the need for precautions to ensure peace in the State without giving room for any disturbances. - PTI



We have lost our identity, say people of Kashmir

People of Kashmir on Monday expressed apprehensions about a new cycle of violence in the Valley, with many saying that scrapping of Article 370, which gave special status to the State, could lead to change in its Muslim-majority identity.

“We are shocked by the decision and it left us disappointed because our sentiments were attached with this Article... its scrapping means that the State will lose its Muslim-majority character,” said 50-year-old Farooq Ahmad Shah, a resident of Srinagar who was visiting Jammu.

He said though the State’s ruling parties rendered the Article a mere skeleton over the last 70 years in collusion with the different governments at the centre, its scrapping is bound to provoke the people to vent their anger.



'Akhand Bharat marches on'

Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal tweeted: "Akhand Bharat marches on. A historic blunder & injustice done to the very soul of India corrected. Gratitude to PM Shri @narendramodi ji & HM Shri @AmitShah ji for breaking the shackles that enemies of India designed to keep India's rise in check. #BharatEkHai#370Scrapped "

Assam Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma tweeted: "The integration of India that Sardar Patel so avowedly started is finally completed by two of his fellow men from Gujarat  #NarendraModi & #AmitShah . The scrapping of #Article370 is a giant leap forward by NDA government towards ensurijg #BharatEKHai A glorious day for us!"

Manipur CM Biren Singh tweeted: "This is a historic day for the people of India. Today's constitutional amendment on J&K brought by the visionary leadership of @NarendraModi and @AmitShah reitrates @BJP4India 's strong position of a #BharatEkHai ."


'Decisions must be made by consensus, not by threat'

Akhilesh Yadav , Samajwadi Party president, says: Any move that seeks to strengthen the integrity of India is to be welcomed. But in a democracy, decisions must be made by consensus, not by threat, force or fear. All parties should be part of talks and due process.

Nothing should be unilateral for that only leads to more strife.




‘Procedural harakiri’

Joining the chorus of Opposition parties against the move to revoke Article 370 of the Constitution, the Trinamool Congress said on Monday that the government has committed “procedural harakiri” by scrapping the provision which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir.




'Rectification of Jawaharlal Nehru’s mistake'

Former Madhya Pradesh chief ministers and senior BJP leaders Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Uma Bharti welcomed the abolition of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir.

“This is a rectification of Jawaharlal Nehru’s mistake. Kashmir and Ladakh have got independence today for which the Jan Sangh was established,” Mr. Chouhan tweeted.

“The dream of ‘ek desh mein do vidhan, do pradhan aur do nishan nahi chalenge (two legislations, two heads and two emblems in one country are not acceptable)’ has been fulfilled,” Chouhan said in another tweet.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi is God’s blessing to India. Congratulations to the PM and Home Minister,” he added.

“Bharat Mata (Mother India) must be giving blessings to our Prime Minister today,” Ms. Bharti tweeted.



Kashmiri Pandits rejoice

Kashmiri Pandits, displaced from the Valley in the 1990s, on Monday hailed the scrapping of Article 370 of the Constitution as a “historic event” and hoped it would pave the way for return to their homeland with honour and dignity.

Global Kashmiri Pandit Diaspora (GKPD), a body representing the community across the world, said the decision cements territorial, political and cultural unity of the Indian Union.

“August 5, 2019 will go down in the history of the country as a day that has put the lasting seal on the sovereignty of Parliament over the entire Indian Union,” it said in a statement.



It is a “murder of democracy,” DMK president M.K. Stalin said on Monday. “It is highly condemnable that the ruling AIADMK [in Tamil Nadu] also has supported the move. It’s better the party renames itself as All India Bharatiya Janata Party,” he told reporters.




L.K. Advani

L.K. Advani


Veteran BJP leader L.K. Advani has congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah for "the historic decision" to revoke Article 370. Calling it a bold step towards strengthening national integration, Mr. Advani said the decision has been a part of BJP's core ideology since the days of Jan Sangh.


Darkest day in Indian democracy, says Mehbooba Mufti

Former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti tweeted saying that Monday, August 5, marked the darkest day in Indian democracy.

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. File Photo.


“Decision of J&K leadership to reject 2 nation theory in 1947 & align with India has backfired. Unilateral decision of GOI to scrap Article 370 is illegal & unconstitutional which will make India an occupational force in J&K,” she tweeted.

“It will have catastrophic consequences for the subcontinent. GOIs intentions are clear. They want the territory of J&K by terrorising it’s people. India has failed Kashmir in keeping its promises,” she added.


Total betrayal of trust, says Omar Abdullah

Terming the government’s move on Article 370 “unilateral and shocking”, former chief minister and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah said it was a total “betrayal of trust” of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

“Government of India (GOI)’s unilateral and shocking decisions today are a total betrayal of the trust that the people of Jammu & Kashmir had reposed in India when the state acceded to it in 1947. The decisions will have far-reaching and dangerous consequences. This is an aggression against people of the State as had been warned by an all-parties meeting in Srinagar yesterday.

“GOI has resorted to deceit and stealth in recent weeks to lay the ground for these disastrous decisions. Our darkest apprehensions have unfortunately come true after the GOI and its representatives in J&K lied to us that nothing major was planned,” he said.

Prior to this announcement, the government had suspended the Amarnath Yathra in Kashmir , citing terror threats from Pakistani Army and terrorists.

Mr. Abdullah said that the announcement was made after the entire state, particularly the Valley, was turned into a garrison.

“Those of us who gave democratic voice to the people of Jammu & Kashmir, are incarcerated as lakhs of armed security personnel have been put on the ground.

“The scrapping of Articles 370 and 35A raise fundamental questions on the state’s accession because that was done on the very terms enunciated in these articles. The decisions are unilateral, illegal and unconstitutional and will be challenged as such by the National Conference . A long and tough battle lies ahead. We are ready for that,” he said.



Pakistan condemns the move

Pakistan will use all options to counter India's move to abrogate the Special Status of Kashmir, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad said on Monday. An official statement said that the move to change the legal and constitutional status of Kashmir is not acceptable to Pakistan.

“No unilateral step by the Government of India can change this disputed status, as enshrine in the United Nations Security Council resolutions. Nor will this ever be acceptable to the people of Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan. As the party to this international dispute, Pakistan will exercise all possible options to counter the illegal steps,” said the Official Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad, who condemned and rejected the announcement to abrogate the special status for the State.



Govt move on Article 370 ‘murder of democracy’, ‘attack’ on Indian constitution: Left parties

CPI national secretary D. Raja. File

CPI national secretary D. Raja. File


The Left parties lash out at the government for revoking Article 370, saying that it is the “murder of democracy” and will serve to only to further “alienate” the people of the region.

“What the government has done is regressive and will further alienate the people of Jammu and Kashmir. This is the murder of democracy,” CPI general secretary D Raja says.

The CPI(M) terms the move an “attack” on the Constitution and says the Left parties will hold a protest against the move on Monday.

“This is an attack on the Indian Constitution by scrapping Article 370 and dismantling the state of Jammu and Kashmir. They will be led by the central leadership of these parties,” the party says.

Demanding that the government “end the seige in Kashmir”, CPI-ML Liberation party tweets that the government through its decision had ended the last bridge between the state and the constitution.

“By effectively scrapping #Article370 and 35A, the Modi govt has burnt the constitutional & historical bridge that connected J&K with the rest of India. The govt’s obsession with setting the clock back is pushing the country back into the turbulence of the 1940s,” tweets CPI-ML Liberation from its official handle.


Support this move, says Arvind Kejriwal

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal during a press conference in New Delhi. File

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal during a press conference in New Delhi. File


Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party convenor Arvind Kejriwal said his party supports the Centre’s decisions on Jammu and Kashmir.

“We hope this will bring peace and development in the State,” the chief minister tweeted.

Kejriwal said the AAP supports the Centre’s move on Jammu and Kashmir.

Bhagwant Mann is the AAP’s only MP in the Lok Sabha, while it has three MPs — Sanjay Singh, Sushil Gupta and N D Gupta — in the Rajya Sabha.



RSS welcomes the decision

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on Monday hailed the Union government’s decisions on Jammu and Kashmir, describing it as “brave” and “very necessary” for the interest of the country, including Jammu and Kashmir.

In a joint statement posted on the Twitter handle of the RSS, Bhagwat and his deputy Suresh Joshi said everyone should rise above their interests and political differences, and welcome and support the decision.

“We heartily welcome the government’s brave decision. This was very necessary for the interest of the country, including Jammu and Kashmir,” they said.



Monumental decision towards national integration: Arun Jaitley

Former Union Minister and senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley said the government’s move on Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir is a monumental decision towards national integration.

Asserting that separate status led to separatism, he said in a blog that no dynamic nation could allow this situation to continue.

Former Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. File

Former Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. File


Complimenting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, he said, “A historical wrong has been undone today. Article 35A came through the back door without following the procedure under Article 368 of the Constitution of India. It had to go.”

“The decision of the government will help the people of Jammu and Kashmir the most. More investment, more industry, more private educational institutions, more jobs and more revenue will come,” he said, adding that Kashmir’s regional leaders now feel they would not be able to whip up the fake issue of ‘sentiment verses benefit’.



Black day in constitutional history of India: Chidambaram

Terming the revoking of Article 370 a “catastrophic step”, the Congress accused the BJP of taking the decision “for votes” and said it marks a “black day” in the constitutional history of India.

Reacting to the development, senior Congress leader and former Home Minister P Chidambaram said, “We anticipated a misadventure, but did not think in our wildest dreams that they will take such a catastrophic step.”

“Today is a black day in the constitutional history of India,” he said outside Parliament.

Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad accused the BJP of taking the decision “for votes”. He also alleged that the party is playing with unity and integrity of the State.


Martrdom of Dr. Mukherjee for complete integration of J&K honoured: Ram Madhav

BJP leader Ram Madhav on Monday hailed the government’s decision on Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir and said the martyrdom of its idealogue Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee for complete integration of the state into India has been “honoured“.

The national general secretary and the party’s point person in the state said that the complete integration of Jammu and Kashmir was a longstanding demand of the nation.


Time had come for this substantive decision: Nirupama Menon Rao

"Time had come for this substantive decision by the Govt. of India on Kashmir," said former Foreign Secretary Nirupama Menon Rao.

"Continuation of status quo was untenable.The Pak-supported insurgency since 1990 had demonstrated that," she said.

"But triumphalism is not in order. I want Kashmiris  to prosper, and most importantly, live in peace," Ms. Rao wrote on Twitter.


India independent in true sense with Article 370 move: Uddhav Thackeray

Lauding the Modi-led government’s move on Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, BJP ally Shiv Sena said India has become independent in true sense with this development.

Sena president Uddhav Thackeray said the government’s move on Article 370 is fulfillment of the dream of late Bal Thackeray and Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

“Today, our country has become fully independent,” Thackeray said. He asked the opposition parties to “leave aside their political shoes” and support sovereignty of India.



Historic day for India: Aaditya Thackeray

The Shiv Sena hailed the Centre’s decision on Article 370, with Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray dubbing it as a “moment of pride” and a “historic day” for the country.

There were celebrations outside the Shiv Sena’s headquarters in Dadar area where party workers gathered to welcome the government’s move.

Aaditya Thackeray

Aaditya Thackeray


Later, Aaditya Thackeray, in a series of tweets, congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Shah for the decision, which he described as a “path to a safer, progressive and an open J&K“.

“Historic day for India. 370 scrapped and Jammu & Kashmir now truly a part of India. The path to a safer, progressive and an open J&K determined by citizens, and not anti-national separatists has been paved,” he said in a tweet.

He said this was why the Shiv Sena, led by his father Uddhav Thackeray, supported the NDA in the Lok Sabha polls held earlier this year.

“This is a moment of pride...Big congratulations to @PMOIndia @narendramodi ji, Home Minister @AmitShah ji, the Parliament & the Citizens of India. This is exactly why we supported the NDA in Lok Sabha 2019 led by Modi ji. Decision for India and the State of J and K,” the Yuva Sena chief said.

“I pray that now with the reorganisation of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, the citizens there will benefit with peace, progress and prosperity, which was being held back from them for years due to its isolation from the rest of the country,” he said in another tweet.


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