Lok Sabha Article 370 Debate: Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury just scored a self goal
On Article 370, Leader of the Indian National Congress in the 17th Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury just had a grave misstep in Lok Sabha, by suggesting that this isn't an internal matter at all.
The Lok Sabha just saw a massive upset, as Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury just suggested that the issue on Jammu and Kashmir is not an internal matter. During the debate on the government’s plan to bifurcate J&K, Chowdhury was fronting the Congress charge against Amit Shah. In doing so, he demanded a clarification on the government’s stance on Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, and in furtherance of a point he was trying to make, he said, "You say that it is an internal matter. But it is being monitored since 1948 by the UN, is that an internal matter? We signed Simla Agreement and Lahore Declaration, was that an internal matter or bilateral? Can Jammu and Kashmir still be an internal matter? We want to know. The entire Congress party wants to be enlightened by you”.
Amit Shah was quick to respond, saying, "You don't consider Jammu and Kashmir an integral part India? What are you saying? Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India. Whenever I say Jammu and Kashmir, PoK comes under it. I am being aggressive because you didn't think that PoK comes under Jammu and Kashmir. We can die for it. I want to make it very clear that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral and inseparable part of India. There is absolutely no doubt over it, and there is no legal dispute on this.”
Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi were seen shaking their heads in confusion, despairing over Chowdhury’s controversial statement. There was clearly deep embarrassment, and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury has clarified, saying he was misunderstood.
His implication that J&K were not an integral part of India, and that decisions on the state were in fact external matters has suggested that the Congress sees Kashmir as an entity separate from India. This resulted in upheaval in the Lok Sabha, and government benches had Vande Mataram echoing throughout.
The Rajya Sabha on Monday evening approved the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill, 2019 paving the way for the bifurcation of the state of Jammu and Kashmir into the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. This means that Jammu and Kashmir would be turned into a Union Territory with a legislature, similar to Delhi and Puducherry, and the Ladakh division would be made a separate Union Territory without legislature, akin to Chandigarh and most other Union Territories.