Maharashtra's Opposition slam govt on Article 370 axing

Mumbai, Aug 5 (IANS) Maharashtra's opposition parties attacked the Narendra Modi government for initiating steps to revoke the Constitution's Article 370, conferring special status on Jammu & Kashmir, without first taking the leaders and people of the border state into confidence.

Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar said the government should have taken into confidence Kashmiri leaders like Farooq Abdullah, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mehbooba Mufti and others "who have consistently been associated with the Union of India and have impeccable integrity towards India".

"Now the government must step in to convince the people of Kashmir, especially the youth and take proactive steps to ensure peace, tranquility and development in the state," he urged.

The former Defence Minister pointed out how in 1947, then Maharaja Hari Singh had agreed to accede to India when Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel assured to preserve that state's cultural identity.

Former Mumbai Congress President Sanjay Nirupam said Kashmir is the whole country's agenda and "before taking such a major decision, the government should have consulted and taken into confidence all political parties, Kashmir parties and the Kashmiri people".

"This decision appears to be taken in a hurry for making a show before the people. It has the potential to further destroy Kashmir," he warned.

Ex-Union Minister Milind Deora said that abolishing Article 370 "could well be dubbed Modi 2.0 government's demonetisation moment".

"For the sake of peace and development in the state, I hope this decision plays out more favourably than demonetisation did," he added.

Samajwadi Party state President Abu Asim Azmi lashed the government for focusing on divisive issues like passing the Triple Talaq Bill and removing Article 370.

"The country is going through an economic slowdown and on the verge of facing a recession. Instead of driving economic growth of the country, the government is busy focusing on agenda of polarization by passing the Triple Talaq Bill and removing Article 370 from Kashmir," he said.



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