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Congress' Promise to Amend AFSPA 'Very Dangerous,' Says SM Krishna

On the BJP looking at removing Article 370, Krishna said, 'I have said that the call will have to be taken, once the elections are over, when Narendra Modi comes back to power.'


Updated:April 3, 2019, 8:14 PM IST
Congress' Promise to Amend AFSPA 'Very Dangerous,' Says SM Krishna
File photo of SM Krishna.

Bengaluru: BJP leader and former External Affairs Minister S M Krishna on Wednesday termed the Congress' promise to amend the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act in its election manifesto as "very dangerous."

Krishna, a former chief minister, said the talk about having a separate Prime Minister for Jammu and Kashmir was "totally unacceptable", as he advocated a re-look into article 370 of the Constitution that gives special status to the State.

"That is going to be a very dangerous move, considering how the national security is poised today, how terrorists from outside and terrorists from within are trying to make an assault on our polity and our nation. So it will be a very dangerous move," Krishna said in response to a question about Congress manifesto speaking about removing AFSPA and sedition laws.

The Congress party has said The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act and the Disturbed Areas Act in J&K would be reviewed, adding that suitable changes would be made in the text of the laws to balance the needs of security and protection of human rights.

Responding to a question on having a separate Prime Minister for Kashmir, Krishna, who was the external affairs minister during the UPA rule, said "That's totally unacceptable.

There has to be only one Prime Ministerin the country, well we have that Prime Minister in Narendra Modi."

Former chief minister and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah has said his party would not allow any attacks on Jammu and Kashmir's special status and would work to get back what was "infringed upon", including the coveted posts of 'sadr-e riyasat' (president) and prime minister for the State.

On the BJP looking at removing Article 370, Krishna said,"I have said that the call will have to be taken, once the elections are over, when Narendra Modi comes back to power."

Asked if he agreed with the idea, the former Governor of Maharashtra said, "well I think a re-look has become absolutely necessary."

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had recently advocated repeal of J and K's special status and said Article 35A, which restricts non-permanent residents to buy property in the State, was "constitutionally vulnerable" and also hampering economic development of the state.

However, Jaitley's statement had elicited sharp reactions from several leaders from Jammu and Kashmir, including former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti.

Krishna was speaking at 'Meet the Press' programme organised by Bangalore Reporters' Guild and the Press Club of Bangalore here.

The octogenarian leader, who joined BJP in 2017, said, he quit the Congress as he was opposed to "heredity politics" and was "attracted" by Narendra Modi and his leadership.

Alleging that Congress party has become a "property", he said, "..if one has the eligibility, I don't have problem even if it is heredity politics, I had seen that eligibility in Rajiv Gandhi...but recent changes in Congress, I did not like those developments and felt I cannot continue."

Responding to a question on the Congress-JD(S) coalition government in Karnataka, Krishna said the final word about coalition government would be out once the Lok Sabha elections are over.

"Last ten months they (Congress-JDS) have been busy in getting their respective houses in order, so they have not found the time to devote for governance..I feel slightly disappointed," he said.

Krishna said a successful coalition government can function only when there is a pre-poll understanding with a common minimum programme.

None of that has happened because as the assembly election results were coming in, the Congress-JDS decided to form an alliance, he said.

"..I don't think that the government has really taken off. Maybe once the Lok Sabha elections are over, I think we will hear the final word about coalition government also," he added.

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