'Simply wanted to know status of Kashmir': Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury' clarification after Lok Sabha faux pas
Senior Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury's remark during the ongoing Lok Sabha debate on the Article 370’s abrogation in Jammu and Kashmir has ballooned into a major controversy. As sources told News Nation that UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi is upset over Chowdhury's stance, the Congress lawmaker has issued a clarification. He spoke about why he brought the United Nations monitoring group’s reference during the Article 370 debate. “Since 1948, Kashmir has been under monitoring mechanism of the United Nations. So, in the wake of bifurcation of J&K state, what should be the stand and status of our country,” Chowdhury was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
“Kashmir has always been under the attention of the international forum. If Kashmir issue is so easy, why should this govt yesterday address the embassy people of various countries? I simply sought a clarification from the government,” the Congress leader said. He also added that, “In this parliament in 1994, we adopted a resolution that Pakistan occupied Kashmir has to be restored. It has to be brought into the ambit of our country. Now once J&K has been bifurcated, what shall be the status of PoK?”
Earlier in the day, taking the Congress’ political battle in the Lower House, party leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury had asked, “How can Jammu and Kashmir be an internal matter?... The entire party wants to be enlightened by you.” He also attacked the Modi government and said, “You violated all rules and converted a state into a Union Territory overnight.” To this Shah replied, “Parliament has the right to make laws on Jammu and Kashmir.” At one point during the debate, Choudhury questioned the Modi government and asked: ‘If Indira did Shimla Agreement and Vajpayee did Lahore declaration, then how is Article 370 internal issue, when United Nations is monitoring?” The Union Home Minister shot back and said, “Please confirm if this is the Congress party’s official position.”
Sonia Gandhi has reportedly conveyed her unhappiness over the remark to Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury. She even looked amused when Chaudhary made this remark and was seen looking towards Rahul Gandhi as if she wanted to know "what's going on, what is he saying?"
Dismissing opposition's charge that introduction of the bill and the resolution were a violation of the rights of the people, Shah said nobody can stop him from introducing a resolution on Kashmir in Parliament.
The home minister also said the UT of Jammu and Kashmir will have an assembly with a chief minister and MLAs.
The government on Monday revoked some provisions of the Article 370 to take away Jammu and Kashmir's special status, and proposed bifurcation of the state into two union territories, Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh, a bold and far-reaching decision that seeks to redraw the map and future of a region at the centre of a protracted militancy movement.
Fulfilling an electoral promise of the BJP less than 90 days after the Modi 2.0 government took power, Shah had announced the decision in the Rajya Sabha, which approved both the resolution and the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation bill.