New Delhi, Aug 5: On a day the Modi government sprang a major surprise and scrapped the Article 370 that gave special autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir, in political realm the BJP-led dispensation had reasons to feel happy about the day's developments as key political opponents like AAP of Arvind Kejriwal, N Chandrababu Naidu-led TDP and Mayawati’s BSP backed the government. Apart from these, other oppositions such as BJD, AIADMK and YSR-Congress also backed Modi government on the bill.
Speaking in Rajya Sabha during the high voltage debate, Kanakamedala Ravindra Kumar of TDP said, "I think the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill, 2019 should be effectively implemented forthwith. The implementation of the Bill will remove the difficulties faced by the people of Jammu and Kashmir". He further said: "...now a message can be sent to the whole nation and also to the people of J&K that the whole nation is one and J&K is part of the nation".
Earlier in the day AAP Chief Arvind Kejriwal was the first among the opposition leaders to break the opposition ranks when he tweeted to back the government decision. Opposition BSP, BJD, AIADMK and YSR-Congress also voted in favour of the bill. While BJP camp rejoiced at such a scenario as the opposition camp in Rajya Sabha looked totally in disarray, its ally JD(U) - however - opposed the government move.
While Congress leaders P Chidambaram and Ghulam Nabi Azad described the government move as 'catastrophic', the principal opposition party suffered setback in the Council of States when its chief whip Bhubaneswar Kalita resigned from the membership of the House opposing the party's stand on Article 370.
"Today's Congress is treading a path as if it wants to commit suicide and I do not want to be a party to this," Kalita said adding "I will not follow the whip". In the Lok Sabha, Congress and other opposition parties staged walkout saying the resolution brought in the House was not proper. Former Union Minister and Congress leader in Mumbai - Milind Deora also took a different line and said:
"Very unfortunate that Article 370 is being converted into a liberal vs conservative debate". He tweeted saying: "Parties should put aside ideological fixations and debate what’s best for India’s sovereignty and federalism, peace in J&K, jobs for Kashmiri youth and justice for Kashmiri Pandits". Another Congress leader Janardhan Dwivedi also said abrogation of the Article 370 was a right decision.
Replying to the debate in Upper House, Shah said in presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that after revocation of the Article 370, J&K will truly become integral part of India. Without taking names, he said Article 370 has only helped three families. More than 41,400 people have been killed due to terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir, he said adding Article 370 was a temporary provision and it is high time the country gets away with the temporary provision. UNI