Political parties in Tamil Nadu divided over Centre’s move on J&K

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on August 06, 2019

File Photo - DMK chief MK Stalin   -  PTI


Not surprisingly, the two Dravidian parties - the DMK and AIADMK - differed on BJP’s decision to strip Jammu and Kashmir of its special status under Article 370 of the Constitution, and to bifurcate the State into two Union Territories.

The DMK, the third largest party in the Lok Sabha and an ally of the Congress, strongly condemned the Centre’s move. However, the ruling AIADMK, an ally of the BJP, supported it. It was guided by its late leader J Jayalalithaa’s views. Participating in a debate in Rajya Sabha in 1984, Jayalalithaa then asked, “Why delay in integration of J&K in to the Union?.”

DMK president MK Stalin took to the social network to condemn the Centre’s decision. “This is a dark day in the history of Indian federalism. I urge the President of India to not precipitate the situation and not take any further steps in this regard until a democratically elected Government is formed there. The DMK stands with its Kashmiri brothers and sisters and will oppose any assault on federal structure,” he said in a series of tweets.

Political leaders like Vaiko, Thol Thirumavalavan and Kamal Haasan, joined the DMK in voicing opposition over Centre’s move.

However, in a cautious reaction, TTV Dhinakaran, General Secretary- Amma Makkal Munnettra Kazagam, said that the government should have sought public opinion before revoking Article 370 and Article 35A. The problem in J&K has been going on even before Independence. The Centre should have given respect to public sentiment before taking the decision. It should ensure that the decision does not affect people.

DMK MP Dayanidhi Maran pointed to the absence of Farooq Abdullah, senior leader and lawmaker from Srinagar as the House was debating the Centre’s resolution to abrogate Article 370 in J&K. “Abdullah is a member of this House and is missing. He was arrested and there is no intimation. You, as Speaker should protect the members. You should be neutral,” Maran said.

A political expert commenting on DMK’s opposition said that the BJP was always against Article 370. However, despite this, the DMK was part of the Vajpayee government and BJP’s manifesto then clearly talked about repealing the article.

Published on August 06, 2019

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