Article 370: Oppn may challenge in court, BJP confident

Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram addresses the media after Union Home Minister Amit Shah introduced the proposal to remove Article 370 in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, at the Parliament during the Budget Session, in New Delhi, Monday, Aug 05, 2019. Congress leaders Gulam Nabi Azad, Shashi Tharoor and others are also seen. (PTI Photo)

The Centre's decision to strip Jammu and Kashmir of its special powers is likely to be challenged in a court, but the government exuded confidence that it would be able to overcome such legal challenges.

“You made a fatal legal error (in a bill to reorganise the state of Jammu and Kashmir). You will discover it in due course,” senior Congress leader P Chidambaram said in the Rajya Sabha on Monday, dropping hints of a legal challenge.

Chidambaram said while he could understand BJP's urge to revoke Article 370 with respect to Jammu and Kashmir, which remained a core agenda for the saffron party's ideological mentor RSS for long time, what was beyond his comprehension was the need to divide the State into two Union Territories.

“Don't dismember the State. Don't do that cardinal sin. It will have catastrophic consequences. You think you have scored a victory, but you are wrong and history will prove you to be wrong. Future generations will realise what a grave mistake this house is making,” Chidambaram, a former Union Home and Finance minister in the UPA era, said arguing against the move.

In his response, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said Jammu and Kashmir would be made a State once again at the right time when the situation became normal. “It may take a little longer, but it will become a state once again, one day,” he assured.

Shah said he was aware of the fact that some of the non-governmental organisations might oppose the government decision in a court, but he said the resolutions and bill would be able to stand up to such challenges.

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