Chennai | Veteran Congress leader P. Chidambaram on Sunday condemned the Modi government, and said that Article 370 was scrapped from Kashmir because it is a Muslim-majority state.
Chidambaram said, “Had there been a Hindu majority in Kashmir, BJP wouldn’t have touched it (Article 370), but because there is a Muslim majority in Kashmir, they abrogated it”.
Speaking at a meeting organised by the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee in Chennai for the Kashmir issue, he said that Congress will keep fighting till statehood is restored to Jammu and Kashmir.
He also slammed the focus on Article 370. “Does only Article 370 bestow special provisions? What about Article 371 for Maharashtra and Gujarat,” he asked, listing out all the states with special provisions.
“Under the special provisions for Nagaland, without their concurrence, Parliament cannot pass laws regarding the religious, cultural practices of the Nagaland people, civil, criminal procedures, and laws passed by Indian Parliament will not apply to them and without the concurrence of the Nagaland Assembly, no one can buy or sell land. So are the special provisions applicable only for Kashmir,” he said.
Expressing dissatisfaction over non-cooperation of opposition parties, Chidambaram said, “I know we do not have the majority in Lok Sabha, but had the seven parties (AIADMK, YSRCP, TRS, BJD, AAP, TMC, JDU) cooperated, the opposition would have been in majority in RS. This is something disappointing”.
“BJP is bragging of integrating Kashmir with muscle power,” he added.
Chidambaram accused Prime Minister Modi of “selectively” talking about laws in Jammu and Kashmir. “I can list out 90 other laws that apply to J&K”, he said.
He said that the ones who quit the Congress are of “18-carat quality” and the ones who have stayed are or “24-carat quality”.