CHENNAI: Hitting out at the BJP-led Centre over abrogation of Article 370 that revoked the special status for Jammu and Kashmir in 2019, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday said it was a move that has not happened ever before in the country which has left “bureaucrats from Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat” rule the now union territory.
Gandhi’s comments came in response to National Conference leader Omar Abdullah speaking on the subject at the release of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin’s autobiography here, where he rued the division of the erstwhile state into a UT.
“Omar spoke wonderfully today….we have to understand that for the first time since independence a state of the Indian union had its powers taken away. It has never happened before that the rights of people have been snatched from them. Today the people of Jammu and Kashmir don’t rule themselves. Bureaucrats from UP and Gujarat rule Jammu and Kashmir. And that is the extreme they have done” to the UT, he said at the event also attended by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and RJD leader and Leader of Opposition in the Bihar Assembly, Tejashwi Yadav.
Further, referring to enhancing BSF’s powers, he said that in Punjab “hundreds of kms of land was unilaterally taken away and given to BSF, without any question, discussion and they do the same to Tamil Nadu.” “We always speak about unity from diversity…our vision is unity from diversity, their vision is unity through conformity,” he said attacking the BJP.
He further charged that the judiciary, the Election Commission and media are “systematically” attacked one by one “but the BJP should not be under any illusions.” “We are going to fight them, we are going to defeat them,” he asserted.
Gandhi also trained his guns on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, charging him with trying “to impose some other idea on the people of Tamil Nadu.” Abdullah, former CM of Jammu and Kashmir, ruing the abrogation of Article 370, said the people of Jammu and Kashmir, his father and himself “underwent a period of adversity we could seldom imagine.” “I don’t think anyone of us thought what we could see on Aug 5, 2019. That is when we woke up to who our real friends were. Because, a lot of people who we thought were friends were silent. All the people we thought would speak up at the unjust way people of Jammu and Kashmir were treated said nothing. A lot of people we had great close personal relations with were not only just silent but were complicit and supportive of what happened on August 5, 2019,” he said about the issue.
He thanked Stalin and his party for extending support to the people of Jammu and Kashmir on the issue.
Earlier, Gandhi released DMK president and Chief Minister Stalin’s autobiography, titled ‘Ungalil Oruvan,’ (One Among You) here.
The first copy of the book was received by senior DMK leader and state Water Resources Minister Duraimurugan.