Jammu and Kashmir legislative assembly on Wednesday witnessed chaos and commotion once again over chief minister Mehbooba Mufti’s remarks that any attempt to weaken Article 370, which grants special status to the state, will be an “anti-national” act.
As soon as the House assembled in the morning, former CM and Beerwah MLA Omar Abdullah sought the attention of Speaker Kavinder Gupta and wanted to know about his decision over the CM’s remarks vis-a-vis his directions to expunge them.
Gupta said Mufti did not mean what the opposition had construed. “I have seen the records and she did not mean anything as such. She said something and some people in the valley have culled out a different meaning,” he said.
Mufti’s statement that she made in the House on Monday kicked up a storm in the assembly that witnessed high-voltage drama on Tuesday. Legislators of coalition partner Bharatiya Janata Party demanded that the part of her statement where she used the term ‘anti-national’ be expunged from the record.
Before forming a coalition with the Peoples Democratic Party, the BJP had agreed to sideline a long-standing pledge to scrap Article 370, a constitutional provision that grants the state special status and allows it to make its own laws, for total integration of Jammu and Kashmir with India.
Despite the Speaker’s comment, pandemonium struck the house and opposition members from National Conference and Congress stormed into the well. NC legislator from Pahalgam Altaf Ahmed Kaloo was the first to storm the well.
Amid the chaos, the Speaker adjourned the House for half an hour.
After Speaker left the house, Kaloo threw some chairs at the reporting staff and also tore some papers and flung them in the air.
Another NC MLA Abdul Majeed Larmi picked up a microphone and advanced menacingly towards state forest minister Lal Singh. Both nearly came to blows before they were separated by the watch and ward staff.
One of the staff members even sustained an injury in the melee.
A furious PDP MLA Javed Mustafa Mir was seen gesticulating wildly and questioning a member of NC that why he hit the staff.