Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said Jammu and Kashmir, which is “culturally, geographically, historically and politically different” was bound together with Article 370. The Congress leader said that political parties will fight and stand with the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
“Drunk in power and to get votes, BJP [government] scrapped 3 to 4 things,” ANI quoted him as saying. “They’ve cut off head of the country.” Addressing the Rajya Sabha, the Congress leader said that the Centre had made the Jammu and Kashmir governor “a clerk” and the state a “non-entity”, according to The Hindu.
Congress MP P Chidambaram also requested the central government to not dismember Jammu and Kashmir. “Momentarily you may think you have scored a victory, but you are wrong and history will prove you to be wrong,” he said in the Rajya Sabha. “Future generations will realise what a grave mistake this House is making today.”
Earlier in the day, Chidambaram had said that the disintegration of India had begun with the resoultion on Article 370. “The govt has illegally disintegrated J&K,” News18 quoted him as saying. Congress leader Kapil Sibal said history will tell if the decision was historic or a blot. “We [Congress] had won Kashmir, you have lost Kashmir,” he was quoted as saying in the Upper House. He also questioned how the House could have “a good debate on the bill” if the Opposition was not given copies of it beforehand.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said that the Indian Constitution had been rewritten without any legal provisions, ANI reported. The Punjab government also banned any celebrations or protests on the central government’s decision.
Singh also instructed the police to be prepared to tackle any attempts by Pakistan to disrupt peace in the state. “Pakistan may not take this lightly and could resort to some act against India,” PTI quoted him as saying. He also increased security for the Kashmiri students in Punjab and asked the police to personally speak to them.
Punjab Communist Party of India (Marxist) Secretary Sukhwinder Singh Sekhon described the revocation of Article 370 as “murder of democracy and federalism”. The Samajwadi Party also opposed the government’s decision to revoke the special status granted to the state through Article 370, News18 reported.
The Janata Dal (United), an ally of the Bharatiya Janata Party in Bihar, said Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was heir of the legacies of socialist leaders such as JP Narayan, Ram Manohar Lohia and George Fernandes. “So our party is not supporting the bill moved in the Rajya Sabha today,” ANI quoted party leader KC Tyagi as saying. “We have different thinking. We want that Article 370 should not be revoked.”