Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh on Tuesday criticised the Bharatiya Janata Party for scrapping the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, claiming Prime Minister Narendra Modi had dumped former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s Kashmir policy, PTI reported.
Vajpayee was the prime minister from 1998 to 2004 and he based his Kashmir policy on three principles – insaniyat (humanity), jamhooriyat (democracy) and Kashmiriyat (cultural values of Kashmiris).
“Late Prime Minister Atal ji had said ‘Jamhooriyat, Kashmiriyat and Insaniyat’, was only way out to solve the Jammu and Kashmir problem but Modi has junked it totally,” Singh said.
“The decision [to remove Jammu and Kashmir’s special status] was neither in accordance with jamhooriyat, Kashmiriyat or insaniyat,” he added. “Narendra Modi has rejected Atal ji’s policy totally.”
However, Singh distanced himself from his party colleague P Chidambaram’s view that the government’s move was prompted by “religious fanaticism”. Chidambaram had claimed that the Modi government would not have taken the decision if Jammu and Kashmir were a “Hindu-dominated state”. Singh maintained that it was Chidambaram’s personal opinion and said the Kashmir matter should not be seen from the Hindu-Muslim perspective.
On Tuesday, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar had claimed the Congress was speaking in different voices on the government’s moves because of its “frustration, despair and directionless politics”.
Jammu and Kashmir has been under a security lockdown since August 5, when the Centre abolished its special status granted under Article 370 of Constitution, and split it into two Union Territories. The Congress opposed the changes in Parliament but some of its leaders backed the government.