Former President Ram Nath Kovind fulfilled BJP’s political agenda during his tenure: Mehbooba Mufti
Kovind left the office on Monday as Droupadi Murmu took over the post.
Peoples Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti on Monday said that former President Ram Nath Kovind fulfilled Bharatiya Janata Party’s political agenda during his tenure.
“The outgoing president leaves behind a legacy where the Indian Constitution was trampled upon umpteenth times,” she tweeted. “Be it scrapping of Article 370, CAA [Citizenship Amendment Act] or the unabashed targeting of minorities and Dalits, he fulfilled BJPs political agenda at the cost of the Indian Constitution.”
Kovind left the office on Monday after completing his five-year term. Droupadi Murmu, a candidate backed by the National Democratic Alliance, was sworn in as India’s 15th President.
According to the Constitution, all laws have to be approved by the president.
In August 2019, Kovind had approved a resolution moved by the BJP-led central government to pave the way for the abrogation of Article 370, following which the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir was bifurcated into two Union Territories.
Kovind had also agreed to scrap the Article 35A of the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution. The Article allowed Jammu and Kashmir legislature to define “permanent residents” of the state and restricted outsiders from buying land.
On December 12, 2019, Kovind had given his assent to the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act.
The Act, which was approved by Parliament on December 11, 2019, provides citizenship to refugees from six minority religious communities from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan except Muslims, on the condition that they have lived in India for six years and entered the country by December 31, 2014.
The new citizenship law has been widely criticised as discriminatory. Indian Muslims fear it could be used with the National Register of Citizens to harass and disenfranchise them. The legislation had sparked massive protests across the country.
However, the law is yet to be implemented as rules under the Citizenship Amendment Act have not been framed. The government had said that the formation of the rules was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic and has sought multiple extensions.
Meanwhile, former Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh rebuked Mufti’s criticism of Kovind, India Today reported.
Singh said that Mufti insulted the Dalits by attacking Kovind. The Peoples Democratic Party chief was “resorting to cheap politics” and it was unfortunate that she is “dragging the highest office of the country into politics”, he added.