When J&K people ask for 'azadi' they seek greater autonomy: Chidambaram
ANI | Updated: Oct 28, 2017 19:12 IST
"The demand in Kashmir is to respect in letter and spirit the Article 370 and that means they want greater autonomy. My interactions in Jammu and Kashmir led me to the conclusion that when they ask for Azadi, overwhelming majority wants autonomy," Chidambaram said during an interactive session here.
"I think we should seriously examine the question (of autonomy to J-K) and consider on what areas we can give autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir. It's perfectly within the Constitution of India: Jammu and Kashmir will remain an integral part of India, but it will have larger powers as promised under Article 370."
It is notable that in 2010, Chidambaram as Home Minister in the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government appointed three interlocutors- noted journalist Dilip Padgaonkar, Prof. M. M. Ansari, Information Commissioner and Prof. (Mrs) Radha Kumar, trustee of Delhi Policy Group- to hold dialogue with all stakeholders in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has traditionally favoured abrogation of the Article 370.
Addressing a rally in Jammu, Modi challenged the critics of the BJP's demand for abrogation of Article 370 to at least debate whether the article had benefited or harmed the people of the state.
After his government assumed power at the Centre, Minister of State in the PMO, Jitendra Singh on May 27, 2014 made it clear that the BJP stands for abrogation of Article 370, but wants to have a democratic approach to find a lasting solution to the issue.
On the other hand, BJP's ally in J-K- the People's Democratic Party- favours the Article 370.
"Any changes in the Article 370 will not be acceptable. I won't hesitate in saying that nobody will even hold the Tricolour in Kashmir if the article is scrapped," she had said.
Article 35A of the Indian Constitution is an article that empowers the Jammu and Kashmir state's legislature to define "permanent residents" of the state and provide special rights and privileges to those permanent residents.