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Assam: AIUDF, KMSS criticise Centre over scrapping of Article 370; CM hails move

Press Trust of India  |  Guwahati 

There was mixed response in Assam to the abrogation of Article 370 by the Centre on Monday with the BJP applauding it and the AIDUF accusing the government of violating democratic norms enshrined in the Constitution.

RTI activist and peasant leader Akhil Gogoi condemned the Centre's decision and claimed it would weaken democracy.

Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said that a "historic blunder and injustice done to the very soul of India has been corrected with the scrapping of Article 370".

In a tweet, Sonowal expressed his gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah for breaking the "shackles that enemies of India designed to keep India's rise in check".

Senior BJP leader and state minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the "extraordinary decision" of Modi on Article 370 demonstrates the party's commitment to its ideologies and principles.

The scrapping of Article 370 is a giant leap forward in the NDA government's efforts towards ensuring a united India, Sarma said in a tweet.

"I applaud Union Home Minister Amit Shah for writing a historic script for a new India and the extraordinary decision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Article 370 demonstrates the sturdiness of BJP's commitment to its ideology and principles we pursue," he said.

"The integration of India that Sardar Patel so avowedly started is finally being completed by two of his fellow men from Gujarat - Narendra Modi and Amit Shah...I congratulate both for steering this bold move on way to correcting a monumental historical wrong," he added.

All India United Democratic Front spokesman Aminul Islam said that the BJP government has violated the democratic norms as enshrined in the Constitution and the sudden way in which it had gone about abrogating Article 370 clearly indicates that the ruling BJP is following the "Hindutva agenda".

The process could have been carried out through discussions and taking into confidence all political parties, Islam told PTI.

"Above all, the ruling party (BJP) should have taken into consideration what the people of Jammu and Kashmir want...The way the entire process has been carried out by creating a fear psychosis among the common people of that state is a clear violation of democratic rights," he said.

"The decision should not have been imposed in the manner it has been done, but gradually by bringing in amendments to reduce the privileges under Articles 370 and 35(A)," Islam said.

He also wondered what would be the fate of the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution under which the autonomous council areas in Assam enjoy similar provisions in matters such as disallowing sale of land to outsiders and other constitutional safeguards.

Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) president Akhil Gogoi said that the day is "one of the darkest days of Indian democracy".

"We strongly condemn the government decision on J&K and the move to terrorise the people of the state by mobilising a huge number of security forces there. By this move the constitutional safeguards that the state was enjoying till now have been withdrawn," he told PTI.

The freedom fighters wanted to make India a federal country and that is why the old princely states which joined India were offered some special safeguards. That was why the states were given more power, he said.

"Today's development will weaken the Indian democracy, its federal structure and will threaten sovereignty. We express our solidarity with the peace loving people of Jammu and Kashmir who have been standing with India all these years. At this crucial juncture, we are with them," he said.

At a time when the Centre is talking about the constitutional safeguards for Assam, it has been withdrawn from Jammu and Kashmir, Gogoi added.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, August 05 2019. 19:10 IST
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