As the political debate after abrogation of Article 370 shows no signs of abatement, former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister, Shivraj Singh Chouhan has made a statement about the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru and Article 370 that has led to a fresh war of words between the Congress and the BJP. According to ANI, Chouhan said that Nehru was a criminal who committed a crime by imposing Article 370.
Shivraj Singh Chouhan, the former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister reportedly said, “Jawaharlal Nehru was a criminal. First, he committed the crime of announcing ceasefire in war with Pakistan at times when Indian forces were driving out the Pakistan infiltrators from Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), due to which one-third of the portion (PoK) remained with Pakistan.” Shivraj Singh Chouhan went on to add, “The second crime he did was the crime of imposing Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir. In one country, how can two symbols, two constitution and two heads can exist? This was not injustice but was a crime against the nation.”
This statement by Shivraj Singh Chouhan comes days after the Parliament scrapped Article 370 of the Constitution that granted special status to the state of Jammu & Kashmir. The Parliament also passed the Jammu & Kashmir (Reorganisation) Act, 2019 which has also received the Presidential assent. The Act bifurcates the state of Jammu & Kashmir into two Union Territories-Ladakh (without legislature) and Jammu & Kashmir (with legislature). The newly carved out Union Territories will come into effect from October 31-the birth anniversary of India’s first Union Home Minister, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. This has been hailed by many as a historic political reform that would put the region on the path of quick and effective development which would greatly benefit the people of the region.
The former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister has also reacted sharply to the appointment of Sonia Gandhi as the interim president of the Congress. Shivraj Singh Chouhan said, “The Congress is not willing to learn. It is surprising that the Congress Working Committee (CWC) still wants Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi to lead the party.”
With this statement, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister might have just reopened the debate on Nehru’s blunders as far as Kashmir is concerned. While the entire country is rejoicing the recent massive reform in Jammu and Kashmir initiated by the Modi government, it must be debated as to whose actions had put Kashmir in the wrong direction for seven long decades.