The AIADMK, the ruling party in Tamil Nadu announced on Monday its support for the scrapping of Article 370 that gives special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Even as Jammu and Kashmir is under lockdown with mainstream leaders under arrest and an internet shutdown, the BJP government introduced its proposal to revoke 370(1) and Article 35(A)of the Constitution. Article 35A allows the Jammu and Kashmir legislature to state who are permanent residents of the state. In addition to this, Union Home Minister Amit Shah moved a Bill to give the status of a Union Territory to the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
The AIADMK lent it support to these Bills, along with Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Second Amendment) Bill, 2019 which grants 10 percent reservation for economically weaker upper castes in government educational institutions and jobs.
Speaking in the Rajya Sabha, AIADMK MP A Navaneethakrishnan said, â€śI welcome this two statutory [inaudible] and also the reorganisation Bills and also the reservation Bill applicable to state of Kashmir. There is nothing to worry
Navaneethakrishnan added, â€śSo the Article 370 is only temporary in nature. And also, Part 21 of the Constitution reads as follows: temporary, transitional and special provisions. So the Article 370 is temporary in nature. So now the central government rightly brings these two resolutions and also the two enactments.â€ť (sic)
Further, he referred to former AIADMK chief and late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa and said, â€śHonourable Amma is well-known for upholding the sovereignty and integrity of the country. So we, the AIADMK government, Ammaâ€™s government, AIADMK party is supporting the two resolutions and support the reorganisation and also the reservation Bill.â€ť (sic)
Citing Part XXI of the Constitution, the MP argued that the provisions of Article 370 were only 'temporary and transitional.'
As Rajya Sabha MP in 1984, Jayalalithaa had lambasted former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah's government soon after being dismissed by former PM Indira Gandhi. "Why delay Jammu and Kashmir being integrated with the rest of the Indian Union and why not bring it under the purview of the Constitution of India, - in conformity with all the other States of the Indian Union?" she had asked.
However, she noted that "so long as such a provision which deals with dissolution of a State Assembly or dismissal of a State Government is retained whether it be the Constitution of India or the Constitution of Jammu & Kashmir it is bound to be used again and again by the Central Government - irrespective of which party is in power at the Centre."
DMK chief and Leader of the Opposition in Tamil Nadu MK Stalin reacted to the developments, slamming the BJP and AIADMK governments. Expressing dismay and anger, a statement issued by Stalin said, "The DMK has continued to oppose the scrapping of Article 370. It has also been of the stand that the special status granted to Kashmir should not be scrapped.â€ť He said that it was highly condemnable that at a time of economic crisis, the BJP government chooses to cancel the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, 'that too, at a time when the elected government of the state is not present.'
â€śThis is seen as an effort to divert people's attention from the basic issues. A Chief Minister elected by the people and a Governor appointed by the central government cannot be equated,â€ť he said.
Demanding that the Presidential order must be stalled until an elected government is in place in the state, Stalin also condemned the AIADMKâ€™s support of the move.
Lok Sabha MP D Ravikumar of the VCK tweeted, "Bifurcation of Kashmir is a warning to all states. Now they can do it with any state."
Speaking in the Upper House, MDMK chief and Rajya Sabha MP Vaiko warned of the consequences of what he termed a 'murder of democracy.'
"This Bill should be thrown out, lock, stock and barrel. The main culprit is the Congress party. Fire is burning in the hearts and minds of the Kashmiri people. I oppose this Bill. This is a day of shame. Democracy has been murdered, murdered, murdered. You are killing democracy. This is nothing but murder of democracy. My heart is burning. Kashmir should not become Kosovo, East Timor, South Sudan." he said.