Article 370: Mehbooba’s Remark Snowballs Into ‘Controversy’

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JAMMU: A day after Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, said that abrogating Article 370 would be “biggest anti-national work”, J&K Legislative Assembly Speaker on Tuesday asked CM to clarify her remarks.

The Lower House of the J&K Legislature witnessed ruckus and subsequent adjournment when right wing BJP’s lawmaker, Rajiv Jasrotia, objected to statement of CM.

“If we injured the spirit of Article 370,” Mehbooba had told the J&K Legislative Assembly on Monday, “there won’t be bigger anti-national work than this. Those people, who are trying to do that, are the biggest anti-nationals and we shall fight them.”

Notable to mention, the ruling coalition partner, BJP’s election manifesto had vouched to abrogate the “special status” to J&K guaranteed under Article 370. More so, many right-wing NGOs and think tanks have sought legal intervention to abrogate Article 370.

After BJP MLA raised his objection before the speaker, Kavinder Gupta, the latter directed expunging of the remarks which created furore among the opposition lawmakers. Soon, the house witnessed ruckus with National Conference and Congress lambasting the PDP-BJP government for “demeaning the institution of CM”. “It has happened first time in the history of J&K that any Speaker has ordered expunging of CM’s statement/remarks,” the opposition members said.

This forced the Speaker to adjourn the house, however, it did not pacify the opposition members who are mulling to corner the coalition government on Wednesday.

Amid all this, the ruling PDP lawmakers maintained silence.

The coalition partner, BJP, was peeved over the coverage of CM’s speech by media today.

The opposition members took a strong note against the move of Speaker Gupta who late insisted that chief minister should “clarify her remarks”.

After the House met again in the day and opposition raised the issue, the Speaker clarified that he will first see the records and then only will expunge the word anti-national, “if it is there”. This pushed the House to pandemonium and another adjournment was announced.

Later, talking to reporters, the Speaker Gupta said that there was a thought process that Article 370 should not be there. “In fact when the Prime Minister Narendra Modi Ji was campaigning in J&K, he said it clearly many times,” the Speaker said. “There are people who believe that Jawahar Lal Nehru has done a mistake.” The Speaker said all these things indicate that it can be discussed within the representatives of the people.

BJP’s Clarification Sought

JAMMU: Independent MLA from Udhampur and former MoS Finance (BJP Quota), Pawan Gupta, was marshalled out from the house after he created a pandemonium in the house by raising the issue of CM’s remark on Article 370.

According to KNS, holding a banner asking BJP to clarify its stand on CM’s remark on declaration of the proponents of abrogation of Article 370 anti-national, Pawan Gupta went into the well of the house pressing hard for clarification of the BJP’s stand.

On the speaker’s directions, Gupta was marshalled out.

Cabinet Meet Deferred

JAMMU: A Senior Cabinet Minister has refuted the reports that there is any constitutional crisis in Jammu and Kashmir and cabinet meeting scheduled for Tuesday was deferred “due to adjournment” of Assembly on Chief Minister’s remark over Article 370.

He clarified that Speaker Assembly Kavinder Gupta has during the conduct of proceedings clarified that he has not expunged the remarks of the Chief Minister on Article 370 and with this announcement on the floor of the house the Speaker has “ended the controversy” that erupted over the remark of a BJP MLA on Chief Minister’s statement on Article 370.

The Cabinet Minister told KNS that cabinet meeting scheduled for today had to be deferred for the reason that “the bills to be tabled in the Assembly during the current session have to be cleared by the cabinet”.

Saying that Tuesday’s meeting of Chief Minister with party workers at Gandhi Nagar was already scheduled, he said the adjournment of the Assembly should not be linked to Chief Minister’s meeting at Gandhi Nagar and deferment of the Cabinet meeting scheduled for today (Tuesday).


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