Article 370 scrapped: Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) does a U-turn, says law should be abided by all

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Updated: Aug 08, 2019 10:40 AM

Nitish Kumar's JD (U) has maintained that it does not share the BJP's views on issues like Article 370, triple talaq, Uniform Civil Code and Ayodhya case.

Article 370 scrapped, Nitish KumarThe Janata Dal (United) has finally strike a reconciliatory note after opposing Article 370 in Parliament. (File Photo). PTI

The Janata Dal (United) of Nitish Kumar which was facing public ire for taking a stand against the Modi government’s decision to scrap Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir, has finally struck a reconciliatory note. The party on Wednesday said that the law that had come into force should be abided by all. Party’s national general secretary and Rajya Sabha MP Ram Chandra Prasad Singh said that his party does not wish to engage in further ideological sparring, adding that it will have no bearing on the NDA in Bihar.

Explaining why the JD(U) MPs didn’t support the government in the Parliament, he said, “We could not have supported the bill. We were not consulted by the Centre before it brought the bill.”

However, now that the bill has been passed by Parliament, he said, “we do not wish to engage in further ideological sparring”.

“The law that has come into force with the passing of the bill in Parliament is the law of the land. It should be abided by all. Our differences with the BJP on this issue have always been known and we registered our protest by not voting for it,” Ram Chandra, one of the closest aides of JD(U) president Nitish Kumar, said.

The JD(U) MPs in both Houses had opposed the Modi government’s resolution for scrapping the provisions of Article 370 and dividing Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories. During the debate, they spoke against the bill followed by a walkout. In Rajya Sabha, the JD(U) has six MPs while in Lok Sabha it has 16 MPs.

The JD(U) decision to oppose the Modi government in the Parliament on the matter surprised many, with people questioning Nitish Kumar’s stand on Article 370 and partnering with the BJP for elections. The JD(U) had contested the general elections in an agreement with the BJP. While the BJP scored 100% (winning all 17 seats it had contested), the JD(U) won 16 of the 17 seats. The LJP of Ram Vilas Paswan, however, backed the government in both the Houses. The LJP has six and one MPs in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, respectively.

Ram Chandra further expressed hope that people of Jammu and Kashmir will get better governance as promised by the Centre. He also ruled that the ideological differences between the BJP and JD(U) will not affect the ruling coalition in Bihar. The BJP and JD(U) share power in the state.

“Our ideological differences will have no bearing on the NDA in Bihar. The coalition is intact and we are looking forward to contesting the state assembly polls together next year,” he said.

The JD(U) has maintained that it does not share the BJP’s views on issues like Article 370, triple talaq, Uniform Civil Code and Ayodhya case. Last month, the party had also opposed the triple talaq bill in the Parliament, expressing fear that it might create an atmosphere of distrust in the society.

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