Union I& B Minister Smriti Irani has strongly hit back at Congress leader P Chidambaram for his remarks on “J&K autonomy” earlier in the day. “I think it is quite disgusting that Chidambaram today speaks about breaking the Union of India into pieces and supports those who actually murdered our security forces just so that they can play havoc with law and order situation in J&K,” the Information and Broadcasting minister told ANI.
Earlier , former finance minister Chidambaram said that when people of Jammu and Kashmir talk of “azadi” they actually seek autonomy. “My interactions in the state led me to conclude that when people ask for ‘azadi’ most of them actually seek autonomy,” the Congress leader said while attending a programme in Rajkot.
Chidambaram added that larger powers need to be given to the people and certain areas in the state of J&K should be given autonomy. “J&K will remain part of India but will have larger powers as promised under Article 370,” the senior Congress leader had said.
However, Irani said she was not surprised at the leader’s remarks as it reflected the mentality of the Congress. “I am not surprised because Chidambaram reflects the Congress’s mentality,” she said.
The minister said that Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi too had supported those people who had chanted “Bharat tere tukde honge” during the JNU crisis last year. In 2016, a row had erupted after some JNU students held a protest march against the “judicial killing of Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhatt” and in solidarity with “struggle of Kashmiri people for their democratic right to self-determination”.
Irani said it was shameful that Chidambaram made the comments in Gujarat, the birthplace of Sardar Patel, who dedicated his entire life for the unity and prosperity of India. “What is the message Congress is trying to give, that at the doorstep of political gain they are willing to sacrifice nationhood?” Irani asked.