CHANDIGARH: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday protested the arrest of Kashmiri political leaders at the behest of a political party which had vehemently opposed the arrest of opposition leaders during the Emergency.
Considering the BJP’s strong opposition to the arrest of opposition leaders during the Emergency, it did not behove them to act in this manner in Kashmir, he said.
The Chief Minister ruled out any impact of the revocation of Article 370 on either the Kartarpur Corridor or terrorism in Kashmir. Neither of these was connected with the constitutional changes invoked by the Central government, he said.
"How can it be linked with terrorism," he questioned when asked to comment on BJP’s claim that the move would end terror in the Valley.
It was the security forces, including the Army and police, who were fighting terrorism, said Amarinder, expressing confidence that they would continue to do their job to check the spread of terrorism in Kashmir.
Though the validity of Article 370 could be debated, the process adopted by the central government to abrogate it was unconstitutional, he said, reiterating that no norms were followed in the matter. By failing to evolve a consensus before taking such an important decision, the BJP-led government had weakened the federal structure, he said, alleging a systemic attempt by the Centre to weaken the states.
Amarinder was also surprised at the Akali Dal’s decision to welcome the move. He said the Akalis had done a somersault as the move was against the federal structure, which incidentally was the essence of the Akali’s Anandpur Sahib resolution.
However, Congress MP from Rohtak Deepender Singh Hooda who is also the son of former Haryana Chief Minister tweeted, "My personal view is that there isn't a need to have Article 370 in the 21st century. The move is not only in the interest of the country but also for the benefit of Jammu and Kashmir, which is an integral part of India. It is the responsibility of the government to implement the move in a peaceful environment.’’