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In Chidambaram’s Fatal Error Warning Over Article 370, a Message For Regional Parties on President Rule

Chidambaram asked what would stop future governments from using the process adopted by the Modi government today to divide Tamil Nadu, Odisha or West Bengal.


Updated:August 5, 2019, 5:36 PM IST
In Chidambaram’s Fatal Error Warning Over Article 370, a Message For Regional Parties on President Rule
Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram addresses the media after Amit Shah introduced the proposal to remove Article 370 in the state of J&K. (PTI Photo)

Former Home Minister and Congress leader P Chidambaram warned the government it was making “fatal legal errors” in the legislative procedure adopted to abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution and for the division of Jammu and Kashmir into two separate union territories.

“You have made a fatal legal error. I will not tell you what that is. You will discover that in due course,” Chidambaram said while participating in the debate on the government’s resolution for Kashmir in the Rajya Sabha.

“Congress will vote against the motion,” he added.

The former minister in the Manmohan Singh government sought to raise the consequences of the legal course taken by the Modi government in dealing with the repeal of the Article, which provided special and autonomous status to the state after its accession to the Indian union post-Independence.

He tried to impress upon regional parties to reconsider their stand after Mayawati’s BSP, Naveen Patnaik’s BJP, AIADMK, Chandrababu Naidu’s TDP and Jaganmohan Reddy’s YSR Congress all supported the government move.

“What stops future governments from using this process for dividing Tamil Nadu, Odisha or West Bengal. They don’t realize what they are doing,” he said.

The process, he alleged, adopted by the government is to first place a state under President Rule, and in absence of the state assembly, get the statutory consent for division from the Parliament on which the powers of the state assembly are vested during the interim.

“This will have catastrophic consequences in the future for which you shall bear responsibility. For heaven’s sake, in the name of the people of India please do not dismember the state,” warned Chidambaram.

“Today I despair how long will this country remain envisaged by the founding fathers of this country,” Chidambaram said.

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