NEW DELHI: The BJP has no sense of history and geography and “destroyed” Jammu and Kashmir for more votes, Congress’s Ghulam Nabi Azad said today amid the tumult over the government’s move to end special status for the state.
“They have not just scrapped Article 370, Article 35-A, but also divided the state. This government has decapitated India. Jammu and Kashmir was the head of India… Jammu Kashmir ka tukde tukde kar diya (they have broken the state into pieces),” he said as the government moved four bills in Rajya Sabha to reorganise Jammu and Kashmir. The state will now be bifurcated into two union territories – Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
“These people (the BJP) have come to power lately. They do not know… have not considered the strategic aspects… we have a long border with China, we have a border with Pakistan and with Pakistan Occupied Kashmir… to play around with border state, its people… it is being a traitor to the country,” Mr Azad said.
In a border state, one cannot stop the enemy just with the help of the armed forces, Mr Azad said. “You need the cooperation of the people too,” he said, pointing out that in 1947, the people had fought back the Pakistani intruders just armed with sticks.
“Jammu and Kashmir has a different culture, it is different geographically, culturally… it has three regions. In Jammu there is 60 per cent Hindus and 40 per cent Muslims. It is Article 370 that kept this state together,” Ghulam Nabi Azad said.
The Congress is opposing the government’s move along with a handful of other parties – including Omar Abdullah’s National Conference and Mehbooba Mufti’s People’s Democratic Party.
The rest – including Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party, Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, the ruling YSR Congress of Andhra Pradesh, and Naveen Patnaik’s Biju Janata Dal – are supporting the government.
The BJP maintains that that the Articles giving special status to Jammu and Kashmir are “constitutionally vulnerable”, discriminatory and have inhibited the development of the state.