HYDERABAD, Feb 25: Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu today came down heavily on senior Congress leader P Chidambaram stating that his remarks on Kashmir were “highly shocking, irresponsible and bordering on anti-nationalism”, and sought to know the Congress’ stand on the issue.
At an event in Hyderabad yesterday, Chidambaram had reportedly answered a question about Jammu and Kashmir, saying he felt the situation there was grim, and that a series of mistakes were made which were “almost too late” to correct now.
Chidambaram had said, “Now, the graph (killings in Kashmir), has started rising rapidly. In 2017, the graph is rising at an alarming rate. Even yesterday, people were killed. Unless we put a stop to this course of action, reverse course (of action), go back to talking to the people, go back engaging the people, I think Jammu and Kashmir maybe nearly lost. I don’t want to say lost, it is nearly lost”.
Reacting to his remarks, Naidu said, “The utterances of former Union Home Minister and senior Congress leader, P Chidambaram were highly shocking, irresponsible and bordering on anti-nationalism. It is all the more reprehensible because he was a former Home Minister and is well acquainted with the complexities involved in tackling insurgency. Congress should explain whether it is in agreement with Shri Chidambaram’s views or not?”
“His irresponsible statement is tantamount to promoting separatism and will be music to the ears of our neighbour, which is sponsoring, funding and abetting terrorism from across the border. He should remember that Pakistan is also trying to internationalise the Kashmir issue,” Naidu said in a meeting of party cadres here.
Chidambaram, while referring to Article 370 which gives special provisions to the troubled state, had also said, “I think a series of mistakes have been made. And the last of it was 10 days ago. All that the Kashmiri people are asking is recognise that we join the union under the compact. No other princely state in India joined under a compact.”
“Chidambaram’s remarks are borne out of frustration and he is feeling like fish out of water after the Congress lost power to BJP at the Centre,” Naidu added.
Chidambaram had also criticised the recent controversial comments of Army Chief General Bipin Rawat that anyone interfering with security operations will be treated as anti-national.
“That’s, I think, thoughtless, intemperate words,” the former Union Home Minister said.
Referring to that statement, Naidu asked, “I mean, is it wrong what he (Rawat) said against the terrorists? And are the terrorists right?” (PTI)