J&K statehood repeal tarnished India’s image globally: Mamata

Amid the all-party meeting being chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Jammu and Kashmir in New Delhi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said that the BJP government’s decision to scrap the statehood of Jammu and Kashmir two years ago tarnished India’s image globally.

When asked to comment on the all-party meet, Banerjee said: “I have no knowledge about this meeting. I don’t even know the agenda of the meeting… I don’t know what was the reason for removing the statehood (of Jammu and Kashmir) in the first place. What was the need? This has not helped the country at all. For the last two years, tourists could not travel to Kashmir. It became a question of the country’s prestige. The autocracy there has brought enough disgrace to the country, similar to what the (Covid) vaccines have done.”

The Centre had stripped Jammu and Kashmir of its special status under Article 370 of the Constitution on August 5, 2019, and bifurcated the state into two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

In the government’s first outreach to Jammu and Kashmir’s political leadership since then, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday held a meeting with 14 leaders, including four former chief ministers, to chalk out the future course of action in the union territory.

Meanwhile, Banerjee also lashed at the Centre over the three new farm laws against which the farmers have been protesting on the Delhi border for more than six months. “Anyone who questions the BJP is anti-national… The farmers’ demand for the revocation of the three farm laws is absolutely correct,” she said.


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