Yechury Urges SC To Hear Art-370 Petitions

Senior CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury - File Photo

Srinagar- The CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury on Thursday demanded early hearing by the Supreme Court on a batch of petitions challenging the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir’s semi-autonomous status by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led government on August 5, 2019.

Yechury, who was speaking to reporters at a press conference at party leader M Y Tarigami's residence here lamented that petitions, including that of the CPI(M), challenging the constitutional validity of the Centre's decision are not being heard in the Supreme Court.

"The time the Supreme Court is taking to hear the petitions, gives time to the government to de-facto implement the laws (in J&K). It is because of this that (changes in) land laws, delimitation, etc., are going on. We understand that till the basic question that whether it (revocation of Article 370) is constitutionally valid or not (is answered), such laws should be put on hold.

"By not doing so, you are giving a fait accompli. If the matter is heard after that and even if it (court) says it is wrong, then it will be difficult to repeal all these laws. So, we request the Supreme Court to hear the matter sooner," he said.

He said the CPI(M) believes that Jammu and Kashmir is a part of the country, but there should be "100 per cent, implementation" of the promises and assurances on the basis of which it acceded to India.

"The discontent and alienation you (government) are creating is not in the interests of our country. There is a need to correct it," he said.

He also called for the formation of the "broadest possible front" of secular forces to "isolate and defeat" the BJP, saying the priority is to save the Constitution and safeguard people's rights.

Yechury also urged all "democratic forces" to keep their differences aside and come forward to save the country.

He also accused the BJP of using the legitimacy of election victories for the "complete destruction" of the fundamental pillars of the Constitution.

"The top priority is to save the country and the Constitution and safeguard the rights of people. To do this, it is important to remove the BJP from power. We need to isolate and defeat the BJP. For that, there is a need to have the broadest possible front of secular forces whenever elections come," Yechury said.

He said the CPI(M) will try to form the united front so as to keep the BJP out of power as the saffron party "misuses" it to "destroy the country's Constitution".

"We appeal to all the democratic forces, let us keep our differences aside. We can discuss what we want for the country only when this country is saved. Come forward, this is very important for the future of India and its citizens," he said.

The CPI(M) leader claimed the country has witnessed the "worst degeneration" of the economy under the BJP's rule.

"Unemployment is the worst in history. Over 50 per cent of our youth have stopped searching for jobs as they see no point in doing so. There are economic attacks on people, there is hunger, unemployment, price rise... India is down on every index in the world. It means that India's situation is declining very fast," he claimed.

Referring to last year's report by Sweden's V-Dem Institute that classified India as an "electoral autocracy", Yechury said the BJP is using the legitimacy of election victories for the "complete destruction" of the Constitution's fundamental pillars.

"That is what is happening (in the country) today. How you (BJP) win elections is a different matter, but you use the legitimacy and there is complete destruction of the fundamental pillars of the Constitution be it the secular democracy, social justice, federalism, and economic sovereignty.

"Nothing is left in the country which is not being sold... and profits go to a few people. Everyone knows who they are. Even farms are being handed over to them," he alleged.

He said the BJP has "legitimised political corruption" through electoral bonds.

"A petition against electoral bonds is also pending before the Supreme Court for the last three years. The BJP has made billions of rupees from electoral bonds and they use that money in elections. So, where is the level-playing field? You totally distort the concept of level-playing field and free and fair elections," he said.

It is in this scenario, the CPI (M) leader added, that it is important that all the secular powers unite to save the country and the Constitution.

Yechury said the BJP is weakening the country's institutions, which "is fatal" for the nation.

Yechury said the CPI (M) has decided to organise its all-India Congress in Kerala from April 6-10.

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