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Arun Jaitley Accuses Congress of Encouraging Separatism in Kashmir After Chidambaram’s Autonomy Remark

Arun Jaitley was responding to a statement by senior Congress leader and former home minister P Chidambaram, who said when people of Jammu and Kashmir ask for "azaadi", most of them mean they want greater autonomy.

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Updated:October 29, 2017, 11:48 AM IST
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Arun Jaitley Accuses Congress of Encouraging Separatism in Kashmir After Chidambaram’s Autonomy Remark
Union Minister Arun Jaitley. (File photo)
New Delhi: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday slammed P Chidambaram for his remarks on autonomy for Kashmir and accused the Congress of encouraging separatism in the state.

“The position that the Congress has taken with regard to azaadi or autonomy for Jammu and Kashmir goes directly contrary to India's national interest,” he said in response to Chidambaram’s statement that when people of the Valley ask for “azaadi”, most of them mean they want greater autonomy.

Blaming the “flawed policy” of the Congress for the turmoil in the state, Jaitley said that instead of learning from past mistakes, the party wants to “precipitate a crisis for this country.”

“It was the flawed policy of the Congress right since 1947 which is responsible for the Kashmir problem. The Kashmir problem is the Congress's legacy,” he told reporters here.

“I think the Congress is deceiving the whole country, it is deceiving itself and it is encouraging separatism in J&K. It is hurting India's national interest and this is a very serious issue," he added.

The Congress leader had said the government should seriously consider granting greater autonomy to J&K as it is perfectly within the Constitution of India. “J&K will remain an integral part of India but it will have larger powers as promised under Article 370," Chidambaram said.

Dubbing 10 years of the UPA Government as a "wasted opportunity on J&K", Jaitley said "not a single initiative worked and you had a mass civil disobedience in terms of stone throwing agitation, you had terrorism and terrorists on top, you had normal life being disturbed.

He said the NDA government in last 3-3.5 years have had considerable difficulty in restablishing the network to tackle this crisis.

"We have succeeded in squeezing the funds for terrorists. The mass protest of stone throwers are by and large over. Intelligence network from village to village has been reestablished, terrorists are on the run and security forces have the upper hand," he said.


the Congress's view on demonetisation, Jaitley said "the party never had fighting black money on their agenda and therefore, all anti-black money steps that the NDA government has taken are something which disturbed the Congress."
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