CPI district secretary B. Venkataramana described the abolition of Article 370, which grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir, as a ‘retrograde’ measure.
Addressing participants at a protest organised by the party at Gandhi Statue near GVMC on August 6, Mr. Venkataramana said that “the BJP government has made a mockery of the federal spirit of the Constitution by splitting Jammu and Kashmir”.
Mr. Venkataramana said it was unfortunate that President Ram Nath Kovind had given his approval to the resolution ‘in a hurry’ to split the State into two Union Territories. He felt that such decision could complicate the problem further.
CPI city secretary M. Pydiraju alleged that Article 370 was abolished on the direction of the RSS in tune with the promise made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a public meeting before the elections.
CPI leaders A. Vimala, D. Markandeyulu, S.K. Rehaman and G. Vamana Murthy were among those who participated in the protest.
CPI(M) Central Committee Member V. Srinivasa Rao too expressed concern over the scrapping of Article 370 and reorganising Jammu and Kashmir into Union Territories.
Addressing a media conference along with CPI-M State secretariat member Ch. Narasinga Rao and district committee secretary K. Lokanadham here on Tuesday, Mr. Srinivasa Rao described the ‘unilateral decision’ as a measure intended to ‘trample upon the rights of the States’.
Describing Article 370 as ‘historic’, he said the Article was intended to make Kashmir an integral part of India. He attributed the backwardness of Jammu and Kashmir to the ‘discriminatory attitude’ of successive governments but not due to Article 370.
He criticised the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) for hailing the abrogation of Article 370, while demanding ‘special status’ for Andhra Pradesh. He said that the division of Jammu and Kashmir as two separate entities, bringing them under the control of the Centre by designating them as ‘Union Territories’ and abolishing Article 370 and Article 35 (A) was a violation of the federal spirit of the Constitution.
Mr. Srinivasa Rao said that dividing large States would deprive them of their autonomy and subject them to discrimination. He explained that the North-Eastern States, Vidharba and other States had special rights. He alleged that attempts were being made to belittle the former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Sheik Abdullah and his efforts to keep Jammu and Kashmir integrated through Article 370. He said that a nation-wide strike would be held on August 7 against the scrapping of Article 370 and Article 35 (A) and appealed to the people to support the agitation and make it a success.
Support from some
The former president of the Association of Indian University Vice-Chancellors Y.C. Simhadri hailed the scrapping of Article 370 and said all the people of India and the world, except Pakistan and three families of Kashmir, were admiring the bold decision. He said even the Muslims of Jammu and Kashmir as also the rest of the country, were supporting the decision.
“Since Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India, other countries like Pakistan or even the USA cannot interfere in the internal matters of India,” Prof. Simhadri said.