‘JD(U)’s view on Article 370 won’t have impact on government in Bihar’: KC Tyagi
Speculation over growing unease in the alliance has been stoked by BJP’s determined bid to push back-to-back legislations on two issues, Triple Talaq and now Article 370, which the Nitish Kumar-led party had described as “contentious”.Updated: Aug 06, 2019 14:22 IST
Janata Dal (United), the major NDA partner in Bihar’s ruling coalition, on Monday expressed its strong opposition to the Centre’s decision to abrogate Article 370, maintaining that the party stood by its old stance on the issue .
JD (U) national general secretary KC Tyagi said, “We are against the decision to remove Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir. The party follows the tradition of Ram Manohar Lohia, who supported Article 370, and George Fernandes, who made it a point to insist during the NDA formation that it would not be tampered with. We continue to abide by the view.”
He, however, said his party’s divergent stand would have no impact on the alliance in the state. “The JD (U) and the Bharatiya Janata Party can have different view even while staying together,” Tyagi, who is also JD (U)’s national spokesperson, said.
Speculation over growing unease in the alliance has been stoked by BJP’s determined bid to push back-to-back legislations on two issues, Triple Talaq and now Article 370, which the Nitish Kumar-led party had described as “contentious”. Before on-boarding the NDA, JD (U)’s condition was to leave these, including Ayodhya Temple issue, “untouched”.
The disquiet in JD (U) camp, however, could not remain under cover. Another general secretary and newly reinstated minister, Shyam Rajak, termed the revocation of Article 370 as “murder of democracy”.
BJP’s Sanjay Paswan, a former Union minister, said, “We have an electoral alliance with the JD (U). They have a divergent view on Article 370. They also differed with us on Triple Talaq. They are entitled to their views.”
Former state JD (U) spokesperson Ajay Alok added a new twist to the episode by urging party national president and chief minister to “reconsider” the party’s existing stand on the issue as it was time to take decisions in deference to the wish of the people of the state, country , including those living in J&K and Ladakh.
Unmindful of JD (U)’s dissent, BJP workers and youth wing activists were in a celebratory mode. “Monopoly of Abdullah and Mufti families will end. People will be able to go to Kashmir freely. It will boost industrialisation and job creation. Congress is trying to whip up passions,” BJP spokesperson Afzar Shamsi said.
Congress legislator and AICC member Prem Chandra Mishra led the Opposition charge and criticised BJP’s move saying, “The government should have taken the country into confidence on the sensitive issue. Majority is not a licence to silence the voice of people. BJP is trying to destabilise the peace process for reaping political mileage.”
RJD’s national vice-president Shivanand Tiwari said the BJP had power but should desist from taking morally wrong decisions, while former minister Alok Mehta said the method was wrong and decision was taken to implement RSS agenda.
RLSP chief Upendra Kushwaha said the alacrity in pushing the decision had sent a wrong message for the people of J&K as it raises a question on BJP’s intent to retain power through remote control. “For restoring democratic process, it is necessary that people get an opportunity to elect a government for protecting their interest. But the measure will trample the democratic rights of the people,” he said.
CPI-ML secretary general Dipankar Bhattacharya said that by abrogating Article 370 and 35A, the Modi government had burnt the Constitution and bridge connecting J&K with the rest of India. “Government’s overdrive to take the country back into ’40s will only push it towards unrest,” he said.