Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to address the nation to explain his government’s huge step to redefine and reorganize the state of Jammu and Kashmir after Parliament gives its approval later this week.
Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday introduced a proposal in Rajya Sabha revoking Article 370, that accords special status to Jammu and Kashmir, and dividing the state into two union territories — J&K and Ladakh.
As the Home Minister walked into Parliament many cameras zoomed in on the paper he held in his hand and was marked ‘Top secret’. The paper had three sections marked ‘Constitutional’, ‘Political’ and ‘Law and Order’.
Under the ‘Political’ section was an entry ‘address to the nation’ on August 7.
The document also listed speaking to the Governor of the Jammu and Kashmir — Satyapal Malik — and Chief Ministers of various states, including Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, West Bengal.
Among other steps listed in the document was Home Secretary’s visit to the Valley and ratcheting up security in several states, including Kerala, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh.
The Centre’s move to scrap Article 370 was met by vocal opposition from the Congress and the Trinamool among others.
Two PDP members, Nazir Ahmad Laway and Mir Mohammad Fayaz, were very agitated. They were immediately removed from the House by marshals on orders from the Chairman.
Opposing the bills introduced by Amit Shah, Fayaz tore his own kurta while Nazir Ahmad tore up the Indian constitution.
The din continued even as the Chair repeatedly appealed members to allow the House to function. Members of many parties including Congress, TMC, PDP, CPI and regional parties staged a sit-in protest in the well of the House.
Even as the uproar continued, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad condemned the tearing up of the Constitution, saying “We stand by the Indian Constitution. We will sacrifice our lives to protecting the Constitution.”
State leaders Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti also attacked the Centre over what they called ‘betrayal of the trust of the people’ of the state.
“Government of India’s (GoI) unilateral and shocking decisions are a total betrayal of the trust that people of Jammu and Kashmir had reposed in India when they acceded to it in 1947…GoI has resorted to deceit and stealth to lay the ground for these disastrous decisions,” Abdullah said in a statement issued after Home minister Amit Shah introduced the resolution in Rajya Sabha.