26-Sep-2023  Srinagar booked.net


‘Article 370 Abrogation Was Illegal’: Says Congress As Rahul Gandhi Reaches Jammu



Photo By Abu Baqar

Srinagar: As Congress leader Rahul Gandhi reached J&K’s Kathua district on Thursday evening for the last leg of the Bharat Jodo Yatra (unite India), a 3400 Km foot-march that began from the south Indian state of Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu on September 07 and will end in Kashmir capital, Srinagar with Gandhi hoisting the Tricolor in the war-torn region on January 30; the J&K’s Congress party’s chief spokesperson Jairam Ramesh on Friday said that autonomous status of J&K (Article 370 of the Indian constitution) was scrapped undemocratically, unconstitutionally and forcefully. 

“The bill passed on August 5, 2019 (Jammu Kashmir Reorganization Bill 2019) in the Parliament was undemocratic, unconstitutional and imposed ‘forcefully’ imposed. BJP have a majority in Lok Sabha (lower house of parliament) and Rajya Sabha (Upper house of parliament),” Mr. Ramesh said at a press conference at Chadwal village of Kathua district where Rahul Gandhi led Bharat Jodo Yatra is staying for a night.

The Congress leader said that there was no discussion, no cross examination of the bill and it was forcefully passed, as ruling government misused its power of absolute majority.

“The special status wasn’t only given to J&K, It is there in many states including Mizoram, Manipur, Meghalaya, Tripura, Himachal Pradesh, Goa, Sikkim, Some areas of states like Assam and Karnataka have many special provisions,” he added.

Mr. Gandhi walked across the states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab; challenging the ideological hegemony of the ruling right-wing party by re-calling the constitutional values and his stand for secularism.

“I am aware of people’s suffering in J&K, as all of them have suffered irrespective of their religion or caste. I bow my head before them. I am here to listen and share your pain and learn from you during my nine-day stay,” Mr. Gandhi said as he reached the south-bordering district of Jammu region.

Hundreds of supporters carrying torches welcomed Mr. Gandhi at Lakhanpur, which is the gateway of Jammu region and National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah received Mr. Gandhi.

Speaking at a public rally, Mr. Gandhi accused the BJP and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) of spreading hatred, pitting one religion against another, one caste against another and one linguistic group against another.

“We think hatred has gone deep into the society. However, after walking 3800 km from Kanyakumari, I realized that is not the case. People carry a deeper sense of love and not hatred,” Mr. Gandhi said.

“Demonetisation and wrong GST are tools and not a policy with the government. All through my yatra, I got to hear one word from youth, which is unemployment. This county is lying to its youths that they can aspire to become doctors, engineers and IAS officers. That is only for one percent of the population, the rest will remain poor and unemployed. Poor people are toiling and feeding a few millionaires. Two Indias are being created,” he said

Mr. Gandhi will address another public rally in Jammu on January 23 before heading for the Kashmir valley.

More local leaders, including the NC’s Omar Abdullah, the People’s Democratic Party’s Mehbooba Mufti and her daughter Iltija Mufti, CPI(M)‘s M.Y. Tarigami and the Awami National Conference’s Muzaffar Shah, are likely to join the march later.

As per the congress, the party has invited 23 Heads of national political parties to join Rahul Gandhi to attend Tricolor hoisting ceremony in Srinagar which will mark its end in Srinagar’s Lal Chowk on January 29-30.

JKPCC President, Vikar Rasool Wani said, “We are thankful to people for giving a grand reception to our leader at Lakhanpur. The Yatra will reach Jammu on January 23 and next day will start March from Nagrota.”