New Delhi, Aug 6 : The Congress party on Tuesday trained its guns on the Modi government for not consulting the Jammu and Kashmir legislature on bifurcation of the state but in an ironic turn of twist it came at the receiving end from YSR Congress Party for bifurcating Andhra Pradesh "without consulting" the assembly there.
During the debate in the Lok Sabha on Statutory Resolution on Article 370 vis-a-vis Jammu and Kashmir and other relevant draft laws, Congress member Manish Tewari maintained that the state of Andhra Pradesh was consulted before the mother state was bifurcated, as mandated under Article 3 that before changing boundaries, assembly and council of states should be consulted.
The YSRCP members were on their feet protesting that the state of Andhra Pradesh was not consulted - of course the charge was denied by Mr Tewari. They were supported by some treasury bench members who thumped their desks.Mr Tewari said according to Article 370 (3), the President may, by public notification, declare that this Article shall cease to be operative but only on the recommendation of the Constituent Assembly of the state.
In other words, Mr Tewari argued that the Article 370 can be revoked only if a new Constituent Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir is convened and is willing to recommend its revocation. But he said this Parliament is "not assembly or council", so this amendment cannot be made. At one point Home Minister Amit Shah dared him to clarify whether Congress party is strictly in favour of retaining Article 370 or for its abrogation.
To the pointed question; the Congress member said - 'Not everything is black or white. There are 50 shades of grey in between". Mr Tewari maintained it is for the first time in the history of India that a state is being converted to Union Territory.
The ruling BJP fielded Jammu member Jugal Kishore Sharma and Udhampur MP and Union Minister Jitendra Singh.Mr Sharma alleged that Pt Nehru has gifted Pakistan-occupied Kashmir to Pakistan and stressed that 'we will take it back.'
Maintaining that Article 370 has not benefited Jammu and Kashmir, Mr Sharma said such an extra ordinary provision has only given unemployment, corruption and terrorism to the state.
'No one is ready to set any industry in the state. Why would anyone start a factory or industry in a rented area,' he asked.
People of Jammu and Kashmir have been deprived of the flagship scheme of the government, Ayushman Bharat, and 10 per cent quota for the general class, among other benefits, he maintained.
Mr Sharma said there were no big hospitals, people have to go out of the state to get treatment. He also raised the point of gender discrimination for women who were deprived of their voting rights owning of land and houses. (UNI)