Adhir Ranjan calls for debate on Kashmir, Nehru

Modi made Art 370 a history: Prasad

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Dec 6: Congress’ leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury today alleged that when it comes to the Kashmir issue, BJP leaders unnecessarily criticise first Prime Minister of India and Congress leader Jawaharlal Nehru and demanded a day-long discussion specifically on his role in the matter.
Participating in the debate on the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill and the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill in Lok Sabha, Chowdhury challenged the Government to such a discussion, alleging that BJP leaders always claim the first Prime Minister was “desh ke liye haanikarak (harmful for the country)”
Responding to this, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said he never said Nehru was “haanikarak (harmful)” for the country and always asked what was the root cause of the Kashmir problem and that the role of the people at that time should be discussed.
“Nobody from our benches states that he was haanikarak (harmful),” Shah said and added that the BJP is ready to have a debate.
Chowdhury asserted that the Congress leaders were tired of listening to this kind of criticism and asserted that he was verbally demanding that a debate be held on Kashmir and Nehru.
Chowdhury’s attack on the Government came after BJP leader and former Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad criticised Nehru for his role in the Kashmir issue.
“Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel handled more than 550 princely States except for one and there was no problem… And they are very much a part of India. Nehru handled one such princely State which became a problem till it was resolved in 2019,” Prasad said.
A powerful leader like Narendra Modi came and Article 370 became history, he said.
Chowdhury listed various terror incidents during the Modi Government’s tenure to claim that terrorism was on the rise there.
Talking about the Pulwama attack in 2019, the Congress leader said it was the deadliest attack in three decades and it was avoidable. It happened due to the Government’s incompetency, according to former Governor Satya Pal Malik, he said.
Referring to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s ‘Insaniyat, Jamhuriyat, Kashmiriyat’ remark, Chowdhury asked if the BJP was following it.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that he wants to eradicate ‘Dilli ki Duri as well as Dil Ki Duri’, but has ‘Dil Ki Duri’ been removed. There is a need for some sort of introspection as far as Kashmir is concerned,” the Congress leader said.
Referring to Prasad’s remarks, Chowdhury said there is a constant attempt to project a rift between Patel and Nehru.
Quoting from a book, Chowdhury claimed that Patel tried to convince Liaquat Ali Khan in the partition Council to take Kashmir and leave Hyderabad.
BJD’s Bhartruhari Mahtab intervened and sought tabling of the book in the House, saying the history should not be distorted, as he raised questions over the credentials of the author.
Chowdhury also asked why Assembly elections were not being conducted in Jammu and Kashmir, accusing the Centre of “gerrymandering” to win elections.