PM Modi hits out at Congress over Chidambaram's Kashmir statement
Speaking at a rally in Bengaluru, PM Narendra Modi slammed Congress and accused it of taking a U-turn on the Kashmir issue and said it was giving voice to "Kashmir's azadi", the language of Pakistan. The PM added he wouldn't compromise on India's unity and integrity. Modi's remarks follow Congress's leader Chidambaram's pitch for greater autonomy to the restive Jammu & Kashmir. Know more!
No hope or expectations from the Congress: Modi
Indirectly pointing at Chidambaram, PM Modi said, "I'm surprised that those who were in power at the Centre, those who were responsible for the country's internal security and national security (are saying this)." He added India had no hope and expectations from Congress.
"Congress politicians don't have shame"
PM Modi said thousands of soldiers have sacrificed their lives for Kashmir and also the security of the country. He added the Congress will have to give an answer for Chidambaram's remarks on "Kashmir's azadi". He asked how the country can benefit from Congress that plays politics on the jawans' sacrifices. He also said Chidambaram's comments are an insult to the brave soldiers.
Congress using language spoken by Pakistan: Modi
Criticizing Chidambaram, PM Modi said, "Yesterday's statement of a Congress leader on Kashmir clearly shows how the party feels on surgical strikes and bravery of our Army." He added Congress was "shamelessly using such language that is used by the separatists on Kashmir's land."
Azadi of Kashmir
J&K should be given greater autonomy: Chidambaram
Chidambaram yesterday said the demand of most people in Kashmir is to respect Article 370, meaning they want greater autonomy. From his interactions in the restive state, he understands they ask for "azadi, " and the government should seriously consider their demand. In Jul'16, too, the senior Congress leader advocated greater autonomy for J&K, warning India would have to pay a "heavy price" otherwise.
Congress distances itself from Chidambaram's "azadi in Jammu-Kashmir" statement
However, Congress distanced itself from Chidambaram's comments saying it is an individual's opinion and not the party's. Congress's Chief Spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said J&K will always remain an integral part of India unquestionably. He added: "The opinion of an individual is not necessarily the opinion of the Indian National Congress. In our democracy, individuals are entitled to their opinion."
Chidambaram's Kashmir remarks draw stinging criticism from BJP
Reacting sharply to Chidambaram's statement, BJP said it wasn't surprised to see people supporting those who say "Bharat tere tukde honge" (JNU student leader Kanhaiya Kumar). Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani slammed Chidambaram for his comments, saying they were "shocking and shameful". Arun Jaitley attacked the Congress leader, calling Congress's position on the Kashmir issue "contrary to the national interest".