Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray on Friday criticised the Narendra Modi government for repealing the special status granted to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, The Economic Times reported. Thackeray hit out at the Centre for putting the region in a complete lockdown days after he welcomed the government’s decisions.
“Today there are security personnel with guns outside people’s homes in Kashmir,” the MNS leader said at an event with party workers in Mumbai’s Prabhadevi neighbourhood. “There is no internet, no television, no landlines and there is no cellphone. Tomorrow, the same security personnel could be standing outside your homes in Mumbai or Vidarbha. Your views will be irrelevant.”
However, after Home Minister Amit Shah announced the Centre’s decisions to revoke the special status and bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories in Parliament on Monday, Thackeray had lauded the government’s move. “After a long time, the Central Government makes an exceptional decision!” he had tweeted.
The MNS leader on Friday also condemned the amendments to the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, which were passed in the Parliament on August 2. The change in the law would allow the government to proscribe individuals as terrorists and proposed to empower more officers of the National Investigation Agency to investigate cases. It earlier gave the government the power to only proscribe terrorist organisations.
“This will be used against us, those who agitate will be labelled as terrorists,” Loksatta quoted Thackeray as saying. “It will be decided by Amit Shah. Any person can be labelled and put in jail as a terrorist.”
He also criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for saying that jobs would be created in Jammu and Kashmir and questioned why there were no jobs in states such as Bihar, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh where there was no Article 370.
Thackeray said the Indian economy was affected, companies were being shut down and thousands were losing jobs across the country. He added that the Centre had abrogated Article 370 now and would soon use matters like the Uniform Civil Code and Ram temple to “divert attention” from important matters.