Home South Asia India Nehru is a ‘criminal’ for granting special status to Kashmir: BJP lawmaker

Nehru is a ‘criminal’ for granting special status to Kashmir: BJP lawmaker

“Those who are happy with the removal of Sections 370 and 35A are proud of our country, those who are proud of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah are patriots,” Bhopal MP Pragya Thakur said.

Kashmir

News Desk |

A lawmaker of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has triggered a fresh controversy after she endorsed a statement of BJP Vice President Shivraj Singh Chouhan calling Jawaharlal Nehru a ‘criminal’ for imposing Article 370 which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

“Whoever will hurt our motherland, anyone who tries to break our India, surely is a criminal,” said Bhopal MP Pragya Thakur on India’s first prime minister.

While supporting the ex-chief minister, she said that those opposing the decision to end Article 370 of the Indian Constitution were not patriotic. “Those who are happy with the removal of Sections 370 and 35A are proud of our country, those who are proud of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah are patriots,” she said.

This means that there will be elections in Jammu and Kashmir but the legislature will be under the President of India who will be represented by a lieutenant governor.

The opposition, led by the Congress, has opposed the BJP government’s move, saying the decision was taken without any consultation with stakeholders.

What did Chouhan say?

BJP Vice President Chouhan, who is a former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister, had said that the introduction of Article 370 was a criminal act, sparking a verbal exchange with Congress leader Digvijaya Singh.

“The introduction of Article 370 was a crime. It led to terrorism while Sheikh Abdullah’s family prospered. The people of Kashmir remained poor. Nehru committed the crime of announcing ceasefire in war with Pakistan, at the time when Indian forces were driving out the Pakistani infiltrators from Jammu and Kashmir. Due to this, one-third of the portion (PoK) remained with Pakistan,” he was quoted by Indian news agency ANI last week.

A furious Digvijaya Singh retorted: “Nehru ke pairon ki dhool bhi nahi hai Shivraj, sharm aani chahiye unko [Shivraj is not even worth the dust of Nehru’s feet, he should be ashamed].”

Read more: Modi Lauds Revocation of Kashmir’s Special Status as Achievement for his Government

Thakur, a first-time MP, was an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blasts. BJP had taken notice of her earlier remarks when she said that Mahatma Gandhi’s killer Nathuram Godse was a patriot. Her remarks had sparked a huge backlash.

What did India do?

On August 5, India’s government revoked the special status of occupied Kashmir and rushed through a presidential decree in a bid to fully integrate its only Muslim-majority region with the rest of the country, hours after imposing a major security clampdown in the region.

Indian Home Minister Amit Shah had introduced the presidential order and the bill in Parliament on August 5. Through the order, India has revoked Article 370 of the Indian Constitution thereby ending the special autonomous status of Jammu and Kashmir.

The current presidential order replaces the legislative assembly in Article 370 with the governor of Jammu and Kashmir thereby using the governor’s consent as the consent of the state.

Reportedly, the bill further bifurcates the Indian occupied state of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories namely; the Union Territory of J&K and the Union Territory of Ladakh. While the Union Territory of J&K will have a legislature, the Union Territory of Ladakh will be without a legislature.

This means that there will be elections in Jammu and Kashmir but the legislature will be under the President of India who will be represented by a lieutenant governor.

Article 370

As originally envisaged, Article 370 formed the basis of Kashmir’s special and autonomous status and the article has governed the accession and relationship of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir with India under the Indian Constitution. After it was revoked, the pro-India political leaders Mehbooba Mufti, Farooq Abdullah and others said that revoking Article 370 means a break in the relationship between the state and India.

Under the article, the president of India can revoke 370 only on advice from the constituent assembly of Jammu and Kashmir. The constituent assembly was dissolved in 1957 and replaced by the legislative assembly of Jammu and Kashmir, which was dismissed last year after the BJP-PDP [Peoples Democratic Party] alliance.

Read more: Over 4,000 imprisoned in Kashmir since lockdown began

The current presidential order replaces the legislative assembly in Article 370 with the governor of Jammu and Kashmir thereby using the governor’s consent as the consent of the state.

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