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Amarinder Singh
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BJP-led government has weakened the federal structure: Amarinder Singh

Chandigarh | Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday slammed the BJP for the arrest of political leaders in Kashmir after abrogation of the Article 370 which gave Jammu and Kashmir a special status.

Singh flayed the arrests saying the same party had opposed the detention of political leaders during the 1975 Emergency.

“I protest the arrest of Kashmiri political leaders at the behest of BJP which had vehemently opposed the arrest of opposition leaders during the Emergency,” he told reporters here.

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As a precautionary measure, top political leaders in Jammu and Kashmir, including Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah, were put under house arrest on late Sunday night in the run-up to the Centre move to table its resolution in the Rajya Sabha for scrapping the Article 370.

They were later taken into custody after the House passed the resolution.

Terming Kashmiri leaders arrests “totally wrong”, the chief minister said the act smacked of double standards on the part of the BJP-led government at the Centre.

Considering the BJP’s strong opposition to arrests of opposition leaders during the Emergency, it did not behove them to act in this manner in Kashmir, he said.

Singh ruled out any impact of the revocation of Article 370 on either the Kartarpur Corridor or terrorism in Kashmir.

“Neither of these was connected with the Constitutional changes invoked by the Central government”, Amarinder Singh said.

How can it be linked with terrorism? questioned Singh when asked to comment on the BJP’s claim that the move would end terror in the Valley.

It was security forces, including the Army and the police, who were fighting terrorism, said the chief minister, expressing the confidence that they would continue to do their job to check the spread of terrorism in Kashmir.

Though the validity of Article 370 could be debated, the process adopted by the Central government to abrogate it was unconstitutional, the chief minister said, reiterating that no norms were followed in the matter.

“By failing to evolve a consensus before taking such an important decision, the BJP-led government has weakened the federal structure”, Amarinder Singh said, alleging a systemic attempt by the Centre to weaken states.

Amarinder deplored the Akali Dal’s stance of welcoming the Centre’s move, saying they had done a somersault as the move was against the federal structure.

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