Congress leader P Chidambaram (File photo)
Congress leader P Chidambaram (File photo)

Don't commit monumental blunder, will have catastrophic consequences: Chidambaram on Article 370

ANI | Updated: Aug 05, 2019 18:38 IST

New Delhi (India), Aug 5 (ANI): Revoking Article 370 which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir and the proposal to bifurcate the state into two Union Territories -- Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh -- would have catastrophic consequences, former Home Minister P Chidambaram said on Monday.

Participating in the debate on the resolution moved by Union Home Minister Amit Shah on abrogation of Article 370 and the bill proposing bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories, Chidambaram said history will prove this decision as "monumental blunder" and future generations will realise what a great mistake this House was making.
The government revoked Article 370 which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir and proposed that the state be bifurcated into two Union Territories, Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.
"Today I despair how long this country will remain the country envisaged by the founding fathers of our constitution. India is a union of states but what you are doing is destroying the union of states. What you are doing today will have catastrophic consequences in the future. Remember you will bear responsibility for the catastrophic consequences of this action," he said.
The senior Congress leader raised his apprehensions that by repealing Article 370, the government is pushing thousands of youths in the Valley to join those who have taken guns in their hands.
"I sincerely hope it will not happen. But if it happens, you will rue this day when you repeal Article 370," he said.
Accusing the government of "dismembering" a state, he said the provisions being used to bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir could have long term impact and can be misused in the future to divide other states in the country.
"What you are doing to Jammu and Kashmir by mischievously misinterpreting the provisions can be done to any other state. Please tell me why the mechanism that you have devised to dismember Jammu and Kashmir will not apply to any other state," he said.
"I think doing it for Kashmir, you have made a fatal legal error. My greater concern is what are you doing today sends a very, very wrong signal to all the states of the country," he added.
Terming today as a black day, Chidambaram said momentarily government may think that they have scored a victory but they are wrong.
"History will prove you to be wrong and future generations will realise what a great mistake this house is making today," he said.
He said the "Rajya Sabha being a Council of States, its foremost duty is to protect the rights of the States and by protecting the rights of the States, we protect the rights of the people."
"Day after day, we failed to protect the rights of the states. We passed those bills in the concurrent list without consultation with the States. We are reducing States to municipal corporations. Today you have gone a further step. You will make States your vessel. You will reduce States to colonies and you seek what you are doing is constitutional," he said.
Chidambaram said that the government cannot modify Article 370 by an order under Article 370 as it enables the government to modify such other provisions of the Constitution.
"It is beyond my comprehension that how Article 370 order can be used to modify Article 370," he asked.
"If you are determined to repeal Article 370, I can do nothing about it. It is between you and those who want Article 370 and the Supreme Court of India. But you are doing dismembering Jammu and Kashmir. I appeal to you, please don't do that."
"Don't dismember the state. It came to us as one state. Jammu and Kashmir's accession to India is a history. It's a historical document. It is as important as the Constitution of India. But if you wish to ignore history, it's your privilege. What you are doing is wrong ... repealing Article 35A is wrong...Do whatever you want but please don't commit a monumental blunder," he said. (ANI)