Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Monday said that people in Jammu and Kashmir have no expectation from the present Narendra Modi government. He said the people living in Jammu and Kashmir are nothing but living corpses which explains the silence in the Valley after Article 370 was revoked in the state in August.
Appearing on Agenda AajTak, in the session Kitna Ghulam, Kitna Azad, the former chief minister of the state said that people of Jammu and Kashmir were against the revocation of Article 370 but what affected the people more was making bifurcation of the state and its demotion as a Union Territory.
He said that he was not in agreement with the government in the way the Article 370 was removed. He said, “There were other constitutional ways to do this.”
He said that the Congress had also brought about changes in the Valley before and at that time, it was cleared by the assembly and the cabinet in Jammu and Kashmir. He said, “Governor is your (BJP), Government is your, you introduce any bill, you pass it, where is the cabinet there?”
When asked about the reaction of the people, Azad said that the initial reaction was suppressed and now after several days have passed, people have become indifferent. They do not expect anything, Azad said.
He said people of Jammu and Kashmir were not prepared for this. “When someone dies in the family of cardiac arrest suddenly, there is a shock in the family. But if a person dies after being bed-ridden for years and after receiving good treatment, then the family is a little prepared and the reaction of the death is much lesser, he said explaining the reaction from the Valley to the Article 370 move.
Azad rejected the central government’s claim that the situation in the Valley is normal. He said, “There are four chief ministers [who have served in Jammu and Kashmir], three of them are under detention, and the fourth one [referring to himself] has to take the Supreme Court’s permission to visit his state. Is this what you call normal?”
Reacting to the recent municipal body elections in the Valley, Azad said the local polls were not free and fair. He alleged that data of voting percentage were not correct.
Speaking on the nationwide protest against the amended Citizenship Act, Ghulam Nabi Azad held the BJP responsible for violence and clashes between the protesters and the police.
He said, “The Congress is not behind the protest, the Centre is behind this. If they had not brought the Citizenship Amendment Bill, this would not have happened. All parties were against this, still you bought this. If you bring a bill, that will lead to protest in the country, then who is responsible? The one who brought such a law is responsible.
Demonetisation happened, several people died. Now this bill was brought, and the entire country is up in flames. So, the ones who brought such a law, which is anti-constitutional, anti-people, divisive is the culprit and not the ones protesting it, Azad said.