Members of Parliament from the DMK and its allies will hold rally in Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Aug 22 to protest against the lockdown in Jammu and Kashmir and the arrest of former Chief Ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti and house arrest of senior National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah(86) .
In a statement, DMK president M K Stalin said the rally was to demand the immediate release of these leaders and restoration of democracy in Jammu and Kashmir.
He condemned as undemocratic the abrogation of Art 370 that conferred special status to Jammu and Kashmir through a presidential decree on the basis of the Governor’s recommendation and without consulting the people of the State when the Assembly was under dissolution. He said there was “undeclared emergency” in the State.
He said the voice of the people had been stifled through massing of thousands of troops, imposing prohibitory orders and cutting of telecommunication facilities like mobile and internet..
Without specifying any party, Stalin said “all those who are interested in saving democracy will join the rally”. The DMK and its allies from Tamil Nadu like the Congress, the two left parties , the Marumalarchi DMK and the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal account for 38 out of 39 seats from Tamil Nadu while one seat has gone to the AIADMK. Besides, Congress MP from Puducherry is also expected to join the rally.
The rally will be led by front ranking DMK MPs like T R Baalu, Dayanathi Maran, A Raja and Kanimozhi. Given the close rapport between Stalin and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Trinamool Congress MPs are may also join the protest.
As Rahul Gandhi has resigned as Congress president and Sonia has taken over as interim chief, it will not be a surprise if she also joins the rally as she was always close to the DMK especially to late party patriarch M Karunanidhi.
Stalin was among the first opposition leaders who condemned the bifurcation of the State, imposition of prohibitory orders and detention of mainstream of leaders in Kashmir after the passage of the bill that repealed Art 370 and 35 A which barred outsiders from buying property in the State.
In a series of tweets, he attached a Washington Post report on the grim situation in Jammu and Kashmir.