Cong speaking same language as Pak: Pralhad Joshi on Art 370

Abrogation of special status to Jammu and Kashmir is a step towards ensuring its development and correction of a historical blunder, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said in Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

Participating in the debate on a motion to abrogate provisions of Article 370 and a bill to split J-K into two Union Territories, he attacked the Congress alleging it was speaking the same language as Pakistan.

"We want to correct the historical blunder by this," he said.

He asked the Congress to support the bill and help correct the mistake made by "their ancestors".

Joshi said that the issue is not about land (bhumi-matr) but about mother-land (matra-bhumi).

The minister said that it was very unfortunate that the Congress was not supporting the decisions and divided voices were coming from the party.

Congress is not able to elect its president as there is no democracy in the party, he said.

Pakistan is saying that it is a dark day for democracy and Congress too is saying the same, Joshi said.

Recalling history, Joshi said that despite strong opposition from B R Ambedkar on Article 370, Jawaharlal Nehru went ahead with it.

Nehru had stated that the Article would be corroded and eroded, but instead the Congress was corroded in the last 70 years, and the Article was still there, he said.

"Because of your (Congress) stand and vote bank politics, your number is declining since 1984," he said.

Joshi said that Manish Tewari (Cong) termed this move as a tragedy, but in fact the decision to take the issue to the UN was a tragedy.

Pinaki Mishra (BJD) asked the government to conduct elections in Jammu and Kashmir as early as possible.

He added that within the country, there should be one voice otheriwse people outside the country would take advantage.

Nama Nageswar Rao (TRS) said too that the bill was introduced to correct a historical blunder.

He said the second step now for the government is to change "Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) to Indian Kashmir (IK)".

He added that if they would not support the bill, people would not spare them and would call them anti-national.

This is a not a black day but a day for development of the state, he said.

Akhilesh Yadav (SP) said that nobody knows whether the move is for the happiness of the people of the state or not.

He asked when the people of state like Nagaland, Sikkim and Mizoram "would get this happiness".

Yadav alleged that the government wanted to "confuse the country".