There was no debate, discussion on the issue; BJP used its
absolute majority to impose law; J&K must be given
statehood back: Jairam Ramesh
Jammu Tawi, Jan 20: Raking up a fresh debate over Article 370
and reorganization of Jammu and Kashmir State, the Congress
party's chief spokesperson Jairam Ramesh on Friday said bill
passed on August 5, 2019 (Jammu Kashmir Reorganization Bill
2019) in the Parliament was not followed in a democratic way and
it was ‘forcefully' imposed.
Replying to a question during a presser in Jammu's Kathua,
Ramesh said: “Revocation of Article 370 was done in an
unconstitutional and undemocratic way because they (BJP) have
the majority in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.” Ramesh was
speaking to media persons at a press conference at Chadwal
village of Kathua district where Rahul Gandhi led Bharat Jodo
Yatra is staying for a night.
The Congress leader said that there was no discussion, no cross
examination of the bill and it was forcefully passed, as the ruling
government misused its power of absolute majority. “Jammu and
Kashmir was a full-fledged state, which was degraded to union
territory, and the Congress party is totally against this. We
demanded resumption of democratic process in J&K and the
statehood status with dignity,” he said.
Ramesh further added that BJP revoked Article 370, “but in our
country, our constitution has provision of Article 371 in many
state including Mizoram, Manipur, Meghalaya, Tripura, Himachal
Pradesh, Goa, Sikkim, Some areas of states like Assam and
Karnataka, with special provisions.”
He said that “our country's constitution is so diverse that it
provides special provisions within the state but in the case of
Jammu and Kashmir, it was abruptly revoked undemocratically.”
On the restoration of Article 370, he said, “You are talking about
Article 370 and I am talking about Article 371. Under Article 371,
many states of our country and many areas of our country are
given special provisions.”
He said this in reply to a question about Farooq Abdullah and
Mehbooba Mufti's demand for the restoration of Article 370.
Furthermore, he said in states like Nagaland, Article 371 states
that no act of Parliament would apply to the state of Nagaland in
matters relating to religious or social practices of Nagas, Naga
customary law and procedure, and ownership and transfer of
land and its resources.
He said the Bharat Jodo Yatra is against economic inequality,
social polarisation and political dictatorship.
On Indo-Pak talks, Ramesh said “Everybody wants to have
peaceful dialogue with Pakistan but only on a condition that they
should stop terrorism. Talks and terrorism cannot go together.”
Ramesh also said the Congress party has invited 23 Heads of
national political parties to join Rahul Gandhi at National Flag
hoisting ceremony in Srinagar when the yatra culminates at Lal
Chowk on January 29-30.
He said Bharat Jodo Yatra is launched with a motive to highlight
increasing economic inequality, social polarisation and political
dictatorship in India due to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's
On Ghulam Nabi Azad's Democratic Azad Party, Ramesh said,
‘Azad is 100 percent B team of BJP. His party is almost finished
before taking off. The ‘ranneeti' of Modi-Shah has failed in
Jammu and Kashmir.”
On difference of ideologies of BJP and Congress, he termed it as
‘clash of ideologies' stating, “Congress is not only a voting
machine but gave constitution and modern India while contrary to
that, BJP took the nation completely on a different path.”
He further revealed that from January 26 to March 26, Congress
is launching a two-month long ‘Haath Se Haath Jodo Abhiyan'.
“During this campaign, Congress will aggressively visit door-to-
door all over the country to inform people on documents ready in
the shape of ‘chargesheet on Modi govt's failure' that will be
released tomorrow at Delhi,” Ramesh.
Meanwhile, J&K Pradesh Congress Committee chief
spokesperson, Ravinder Sharma also thanked Dogra Swabhiman
Sanghathan Party Chief, Choudhary Lal Singh for extending
support to Bharat Jodo Yatra. He criticised the present
government on recent target killings in the valley.
JKPCC President, Vikar Rasool Wani said, “We are thankful to
people for giving a grand reception to our leader at Lakhanpur.
The Yatra will reach Jammu on January 23 and next day will start
March from Nagrota.”
Thereafter, 12-km ‘padyatra' will begin from Udhampur followed
by night stay at Ramban and after covering few kilometres at
Banihal, the yatra will enter Srinagar.
“Many deputations will be meeting Rahul Gandhi in both the
regions and highlighting the issues of Jammu and Kashmir on
which the BJP government has failed on all fronts,” Wani said.
Congress MP and incharge J&K Affairs Rajni Patil, senior leader
Digvijay Singh and others too were present in the press
A theme song on ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra' was also released in
regional Dogri language on the occasion.
Earlier in the morning, Rahul Gandhi resumed the yatra from Hatli
Morh in Kathua district that halted at Chadwal village. Tight
security arrangements are made for the yatra while the traffic
department has also issued advisory for the vehicular movement
on the highway.