J&K’s head chopped off, identity lost: Azad

Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad speaking in the House on Monday.
Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad speaking in the House on Monday.

Sits on dharna with other MPs in Well of House

NEW DELHI, Aug 5: Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad today charged that J&K’s head, considered as India’s crown, has been “chopped off” and its identity removed.
Opposing the move, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said: “I had never imagined that the head of the State which is India’s crown will be chopped off”
“You have made light of the State of J & K,” he said, charging it was a ‘matter of shame’ that the Centre had reduced the State to a non-entity with Lt Governor’s rule.
“It will be a black blot on India’s history when this Bill is passed (in Parliament),” Azad said.
He said an “atom bomb” exploded in the House when the Home Minister (Amit Shah) spoke today, claiming that the “State was being removed from the map of India” by being bifurcated and converted into a Union Territory.
He observed that the people in the State of Jammu and Kashmir stood by the country’s security forces and did not choose Pakistan despite it having the same religion. Instead, they accepted the secularism of India, he said.
“Today, you have again laid the foundation to disintegrate. Integration does not take place through legislation, its happens through the heart, Azad said.
He dared the Government to bring a Bill to convert Gujarat into a Union Territory, saying it should not take things lightly, and accused the Centre of muzzling the State’s history while being “drunk” with power.
In a rare occasion in the history of Parliament, Leader of Opposition (Ghulam Nabi Azad) along with Congress and like-minded parties’ MPs, sat on dharna in Well of House for more than three and half hours in protest against bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir and converting it into two Union Territories.
Azad, in his remarks, accused the BJP of taking the decision “for votes”. and also alleged that the saffron party is “playing” with unity and integrity of the State.
“A border State, which is culturally, geographically, historically and politically different was bound together by Article 370. Drunk on power and to get votes, the BJP Government scrapped 3-4 things in one stroke,” Azad said.
He said that since morning, the Congress, Trinamool Congress, CPI(M), CPI, DMK, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Kerala Congress, Samajwadi Party, Kerala’s Muslim League, Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP), has been protesting and will continue do so against this “black law”.
“We will keep fighting both inside and outside Parliament,” Azad said.
Speaking in Rajya Sabha, Azad said the entire Kashmir valley is under curfew and three former Chief Ministers of the state and political leaders have been placed under house arrest. He called for the situation to be discussed first but Naidu allowed Shah to move the resolution. (PTI)