Opposition fumes over killing of migrant workers in Kashmir

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on October 30, 2019

To raise this issue when Parliament meets for winter session on Nov18

The killing of five migrant workers from West Bengal by terrorists at Kulgam and the visit by European Union Parliament members at the Valley have agitated the Opposition parties who said the Centre’s stand on Kashmir is a complete failure.

The Opposition said they will demand an answer from the Centre when Parliament meets for winter session on November 18.

‘Wrong policies’

Leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha Adhir Chowdhury wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah stating that the Centre’s “wrong policies” have worsened the situation in Kashmir.

“Please ensure safety and security of these people as the family members are unable to connect with them. All the labourers and workers in the valley should return to their homes safely,” he said in the letter. He urged the Centre to launch a helpline so that the family members can get in touch with the migrant workers employed in Kashmir.

CPI general secretary D Raja said the murders were condemnable.

“But who created this situation? Where is normalcy in Kashmir? Shah and Modi must answer,” he said.

‘An ill-advised PR stunt’

Lashing out at the Centre over the visit of EU MPs, Congress’s media in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala said India witnessed an immature, ill-advised and ill-conceived PR exercise of the BJP government organised by an ‘International Business Broker’, in which 27 members of European Parliament were brought by a non-descript think tank with questionable credentials to meet with Prime Minister to visit Kashmir and to hold a press briefing.

“India’s time-tested policy over last 72 years is that Kashmir is our internal issue and we will accept no interference or third party mediation of any nature from any government or group of people or organisation or any individual. Modi Government has committed the gravest sin of reversing this policy over last three days,” he said.

He said the Centre has insulted Parliament and the country’s democratic spirit. “When our own Members of Parliament and Leaders of Opposition visit Kashmir, they are detained and deported from the airport by the present BJP Government. On the other hand, BJP Government is rolling out the red carpet for a private visit by EU MPs facilitated by an unknown ‘International Business Broker,” he said.

Framing of Article 370

The CPI (M) said in a statement that the Centre has chosen the birth anniversary of Vallabhbhai Patel to make the formal declaration of the separation of Ladakh from Jammu and Kashmir and the demeaning of the divided State into two union territories.

“It is a shameful day for India’s democracy that a State should be divided and deprived of its status as a full-fledged State without any reference to the opinion of the people of the State or its State Assembly. This is in blatant violation of Article 3 of the Constitution of India. There is nothing to celebrate on this day for those who uphold constitutional values including the federal structure of the country,” the party’s Polit Bureau said in a statement.

It added that by choosing this date the Centre is putting in place the Amit Shah formula of manufacturing history and eliminating the truth.

“It is a matter of record including from the memoirs of Vallabhbhai Patel that he was not only a party to, but also involved in the drafting of Article 370. It was at his residence that on May 15 and 16, 1949 that the discussions on the special status for the State were held between him, Nehru and Sheikh Abdullah. Subsequently, it was Patel along with Gopalaswami Ayyangar, who formulated the draft which finally became Article 370. It was again Patel in the absence of Nehru who was in the US, who piloted Article 370 in the Constituent Assembly,” the PB statement said.

Published on October 30, 2019

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