The senior leader was talking about the Presidential order on Article 370, when AIADMK MP Raveendranath tried to intervene.

DMKs TR Baalu calls OPSs son spineless in Lok Sabha during Kashmir debateFile image/PTI
news Article 370 Tuesday, August 06, 2019 - 17:46

Senior DMK leader and Lok Sabha MP TR Baalu called P Raveendranath Kumar, AIADMK’s sole Member of Parliament in Lok Sabha ‘spineless’ as heated discussion was underway on Article 370 and Kashmir. Raveendranath is the son of Tamil Nadu Deputy CM O Pannerselvam, and tried to intervene during TR Baalu’s speech on Tuesday.

The Presidential Order on Article 370 which withdrew special status to Jammu and Kashmir was put for debate in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday. DMK’s Parliamentary Party leader TR Baalu rose to offer his inputs on the order and slammed the central government stating that these bills are being passed only because they had absolute majority in the house. “A very shrewd and smart Parliamentary Affairs Minister is producing two, three bills every day. It is just like a production hall of bills,” he said.

During his speech, TR Baalu wondered why the central government couldn’t achieve what it was trying to do in Kashmir, in the south – in states like Kerala and Tamil Nadu. “You cannot heckle me, you cannot heckle the Kerala friends,” Baalu said. It was at this juncture that Raveendranath Kumar tried to interrupt him. Flaring up for a moment at the interjection, TR Baalu said, “Hey simply sit down. You don’t have any backbone. Sit down!” Other DMK MPs including Kanimozhi repeated his direction to Raveendranath.

Continuing his speech, Baalu said, “The Parliament is known for people who have got backbones, not like you!”

Clarifying that he was not scolding anybody, TR Baalu said that he has learnt a lot from many of his friends who are senior Parliamentarians. “My friends are there, very senior friends are there. I have learnt many things from them,” he said, adding, “I have to learn from Ravi also,” as DMK MPs burst out laughing.

Federalism, and the rights of states

TR Baalu during his speech directed his guns straight at the Union Home Minister Amit Shah and asked what the government achieved by this move of bifurcating the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories. “The net result is that you are making a mighty state government into a municipality. Two municipalities are being created,” he said. He also added that the day-to-day administration cannot be managed by Lieutenant Governors.

Commenting on the intrusion into India through its borders in Jammu and Kashmir, TR Baalu questioned if any steps have been taken to address this security issue. “Security problem has not been solved. Our people in the borders are not safe… have you brought any solace to the people who are living on the edge of the borders? Is there any solution to the terrorists who are intruding into this, I want to know,” Baalu said. He accused the government of just wanting to push the legislation and not abiding by the rules put down as a prerequisite to pass the bill.

“If you trust that the public will vote for you for (Article) 370, then you should have done it… you were not trusting (the state) at that point in time,” he said.

Concluding his speech by imploring to the Home minister to take corrective measures in the valley so that the people can live in peace, TR Baalu said he cannot support this bill since the government has not solved the Pakistan issue before nullifying Article 370. 

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