Oppose procedure, not talking about its spirit: Mamata on 370 scrapping
Mamata Banerjee has singled out alleged lack of consultation over scraping of Article 370 for Jammu and Kashmir as the reason for her party’s opposition to Centre’s move.Updated: Aug 06, 2019 15:55 IST
A day after the Centre scrapped Kashmir’s special status under Article 370 of the Constitution, Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee broke her silence, saying she was opposed to the Bill because of the procedure followed by the government and was not talking about its spirit.
“I am not talking about the spirit of the Bill. My party is opposed to the procedural method followed by the Government. I do not support the bill. You can talk to the people (of Kashmir). They have their opinion,” said Mamata, in her first reaction to the development.
Banerjee also demanded the release of Kashmir’s political leaders, including former J&K chief ministers Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti.
“I read in the papers that they have been arrested. They are also Kashmiri people. They are not terrorists. They cannot be isolated. We are together on this. This concerns our motherland,” said Banerjee at Kolkata airport before heading to Chennai, to unveil a statue of DMK leader and former Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi..
Around the same time, Union Home Minister Amit Shah told Lok Sabha that former J&K CM and the Chairman of National Conference Farooq Abdullah was “completely free” and was “at his house”
“Farooq Sahab is at his house, he is free and not under arrest or under house arrest. It is his choice if wants to come to Parliament,” Shah said while allaying fears that Farooq Abdullah may have been forcibly held on the orders of the Central government.
Mamata’s concerns were echoed by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi who alleged that Kashmir’s mainstream political leaders had been jailed at secret locations and this move by the Centre will backfire.
“Kashmir’s mainstream political leaders have been jailed at secret locations. This is unconstitutional & undemocratic. It’s also short sighted and foolish because it will allow terrorists to fill the leadership vacuum created by GOI. The imprisoned leaders must be released.” Rahul tweeted.