The Jammu and Kashmir Assembly on Wednesday was adjourned following commotion in the House over Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s remarks that attempts to weaken Article 370 of the Constitution, which grants special autonomy to the state, were the biggest “anti-national act”. As soon as the Assembly session commenced, Opposition leaders, including former chief minister Omar Abdullah, questioned Speaker Kavinder Gupta about his decision on the matter. On Tuesday, Gupta had said Mufti’s comments, if any, would be expunged.
“I have seen the records and she [Mufti] did not mean anything as such. She said something, and some people in the Valley have culled out a different meaning,” the Speaker told Opposition members. During the chaos, National Conference members fought with state Forest Minister Chaudhary Lal Singh and disrupted proceeding by throwing papers and chairs around.
The episode raises questions on the ruling alliance in the Valley between the People’s Democratic Party and Bharatiya Janata Party, which has often reiterated its stand to scrap the special Constitutional provision for Kashmir and have the state integrated with India entirely. “There are some forces within this country who think that by scrapping Article 370, the issue of Kashmir will be resolved and everything will be alright...We need to work together to save the composite culture which Article 370 protects,” Mufti had said in the Assembly on Monday.
The Assembly is scheduled to be in session till February 7.