‘Jammu and Kashmir not a real estate’: Chidambaram reiterates Congress demand for full statehood

P. Chidambaram et al. looking at each other: Former finance minister P Chidambaram said the Centre's move to strip Jammu and Kashmir or statehood was wrong. (HT File Photo)

© Provided by Hindustan Times Former finance minister P Chidambaram said the Centre’s move to strip Jammu and Kashmir or statehood was wrong. (HT File Photo)

Congress leader P Chidambaram reiterated his party’s stand on granting statehood to Jammu and Kashmir, tweeting on Monday the Parliament act misinterpreted the provisions of the constitution. He also said that Jammu and Kashmir is not a piece of real estate.

“Congress Party’s position, reiterated yesterday, that full Statehood must be restored to J&K should clear any doubt or ambiguity. What was made under the Constitution cannot be unmade by an Act of Parliament misinterpreting and misusing the provisions of the Constitution,” Chidambaram said in first of his series of tweets on the matter.

The former finance minister also said that the laws which stripped Jammu and Kashmir of its statehood should be repealed in the monsoon session of Parliament. “That is the only way to draw the starting line for a political resolution of the Kashmir issue,” said Chidambaram.

“J&K was a ‘state’ that signed an Instrument of Accession and acceded to India. It must enjoy that status forever. J&K is not a piece of ‘real estate’. J&K is ‘people’. Their rights and wishes must be respected,” the senior Congress leader said in another tweet, adding that “the dismembering of J&K” has been challenged in the Supreme Court and the cases are pending for nearly two years.

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The Congress party had on Sunday said that the Centre should accept the demand for restoration of statehood to Jammu and Kashmir in the interest of the constitution and democracy.

Speaking to reporters, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said that the Centre’s move to scrap Jammu and Kashmir’s special status was a “direct attack on democracy and the constitutional principles”. He said that the Congress party had issued a resolution on the very next day of the Centre’s decision demanding the restoration of full statehood for Jammu and Kashmir.

His remarks came after invitations were sent out to 14 political leaders from Jammu and Kashmir, including four former chief ministers, for participation in a high-level meeting to be chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his residence in New Delhi at 3pm on June 24.

The meeting is expected to set the roadmap for holding assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir.

This will be the prime minister’s first interaction with all the political parties of Jammu and Kashmir since August 5, 2019, when the Centre scrapped Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and divided it into two union territories.

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