- Article 370 a mistake imposed by Nehru on us: BJP' Jugal Kishore
- He called Article 370 "a miscarriage of justice"
- His comments were hotly opposed by Congress's Manish Tewari
Jawaharlal Nehru was again cited in the debate on the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation bill in the Lok Sabha today, with a BJP member accusing him of dividing the state and being responsible for Pakistan Occupied Kashmir.
Jugal Kishore, who represents Jammu in the lower house, said, "If Nehru had not interfered, there would have been no Article 370, there would have been no PoK, there would not have been a need of this bill".
"Whether it is Article 370 or 35A, it was a mistake imposed by Nehru on us -- the people of Kashmir. I say that Nehru divided Jammu and Kashmir. PoK (Pakistan Occupied Kashmir) is Nehru's doing. Our image has been tainted because of Jawaharlal Nehru," the lawmaker from Jammu's Udhampur said.
Calling Article 370 "a miscarriage of justice" and the "gravest blunder in post-Independence India", he said Jawaharlal Nehru did not allow then Home Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel to handle the Kashmir situation, which led to complications. "Panditji believed he knew Jammu and Kashmir better than Sardar Patel and therefore kept him out of it," he said. But Sardar Patel had handled both Hyderabad and Junagadh, which saw their smooth merger with India, he added.
He also blamed Jawaharlal Nehru for the creation of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, saying when the Indian forces were driving out Pakistani intruders in the 1948 war, the then Prime Minister went to All India Radio and declared a unilateral ceasefire. "If he had not done so, Pakistan-occupied Kashmir would have been part of India," he said.
His comments were hotly opposed by Congress's Manish Tewari.
"If there is anyone who went sent the Army to J&K and protected J&K, that government was Jawaharlal Nehru's government. They were the ones who took a step to make Jammu and Kashmir an inseparable part of India," Manish Tewari said.
The war of words in parliament comes amid a huge political furore over the government's move to end special status in Jammu and Kashmir through a presidential order under the provisions of the Article 370 of the constitution, which also gives the state its special status.
The bill to split Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories - Ladakh which will be without a legislature and Jammu and Kashmir, which will have one - was passed by the Rajya Sabha yesterday, with the backing from a number of regional parties.