New Delhi: Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, the Leader of the Congress in Lok Sabha, has left his party deeply embarrassed by appearing to suggest that Jammu and Kashmir was not an internal matter for India.
The Congress leader’s self-goal came during the debate on the government’s move on J&K in Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
Reacting to Home Minister Amit Shah’s statement in Lok Sabha on the decision to scrap Article 370, Chowdhury demanded to know the government’s position on Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
The Congress leader said the government had thrown rules and regulations out of the window by proposing to create two Union Territories out of J&K.
A furious Home Minister retorted: “General statements should not be made. This is the biggest panchayat of the country. Please tell us which rules have been violated. I will respond to them.”
The Congress leader then sought clarification on how the United Nations was monitoring Kashmir if the region was an internal issue. “You say that it is an internal matter. But it is being monitored since 1948 by the UN, is that an internal matter? We signed Simla Agreement and Lahore Declaration, was that an internal matter or bilateral? Can J&K still be an internal matter? The entire Congress party wants to be enlightened by you,” he said.
Amit Shah shouted back: “You don’t consider J&K as an integral part of India? I want to make it very clear that J&K is an integral and inseparable part of India. There is absolutely no doubt over it, and there is no legal dispute on this.”
Chants of “Bharat Mata ki Jai” and “Vande Mataram” erupted from the government benches at that statement.
Chowdhury later clarified that he was misunderstood and quoted out of context.