PATNA: After opposing the Centre’s resolution to revoke provisions of Article 370 and a bill to bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir, NDA ally Janata Dal (United) on Wednesday struck a reconciliatory note and said the law that had come into force should be accepted and abided by all.
The national general secretary of the Janata Dal (United), Ram Chandra Prasad Singh, said the party does not wish to engage in further ideological sparring. “The law that has come into force with the passing of the bill in Parliament is the law of the land. It should be abided by all. Our differences with the BJP on this issue have always been known and we registered our protest by not voting for it,” Mr Singh, also the JD(U) leader in the Rajya Sabha, told reporters in Patna.
JD(U) lawmakers in both Houses of Parliament had opposed the resolution for scrapping the provisions of Article 370 and reorganising Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories. They spoke against the bill followed by a walkout, stopping short of voting against the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill, 2019.
“We could not have supported the bill. We were not consulted by the Centre before it brought the bill. We have an ideological position on the issue based on the stance taken by our founding president George Fernandes and, previously, socialist stalwarts like Lohia and JP (Jayprakash Narayan),” Mr Singh said.
“However, now that the bill has been passed by Parliament, we do not wish to engage in further ideological sparring,” he said.
The party’s concern now is that the people of Jammu and Kashmir reap the fruits of better governance promised by the Centre, he added.
Mr Singh, one of the closest aides of JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar, said the ideological differences will not affect the ruling coalition in Bihar.
“Our ideological differences will have no bearing on the NDA in Bihar. The coalition is intact and we are looking forward to contesting the state assembly polls together next year,” he said.
The JD(U) national general secretary also dismissed party MLC Ghulam Rasool Balyawi’s statement that the development in Parliament indicated that “there is no NDA, only the BJP”.
“It is a democracy and all people have a right to express their individual opinions. The party took a stand in Parliament and now it wants to work in cooperation with the government at the Centre. And the party stand is in consonance with the thinking of Nitish Kumar, who is our supreme leader,” Mr Singh said.