War of words between Congress, BJP on J&K issue

Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram. (PTI Photo)

Congress leaders' remarks seeking to give a communal twist to the stripping of Jammu & Kashmir's special status under Article 370 drew a sharp reaction from the BJP.

Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram claimed that the BJP government stripped J&K of its special status because it was a region dominated by Muslims, while Congress veteran Mani Shankar Aiyar liked the situation in the northern state to that in Palestine.

“It is the desire of Congress to see trouble and blood-letting in J&K. They have no concern about the country, they are only bothered about their political benefits,” BJP vice president Shivraj Singh Chouhan said.

On Sunday, Chidambaram had said at a function in Chennai that police had fired upon 10,000 strong protestors in Soura in the Kashmir valley and that the Centre's recent decisions with regard to J&K were because of religious fanaticism.

“If J&K was a Hindu-dominated state, the BJP would not have done this. They did it only because the region is dominated by Muslims,” the senior Congress leader said.

Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi too had claimed on Saturday that he had received reports of violence in parts of J&K, remarks that were dismissed as “untrue” by J&K Governor Satyapal Malik.

Malik even offered to send a state aircraft to ferry Rahul to J&K so that he can witness first hand the peaceful situation in the state.

Aiyar accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah of “creating Palestine on the northern border of the country.”

Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the remarks by Congress leaders were “very irresponsible and provocative”.

“What he (Chidambaram) has said is an attempt to give communal colour to the issue even though the decision is in the national interest,” Naqvi said.

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