Dr Manmohan Singh's comments come at a time when the BJP has targetted the Congress party over its stand on Article 370.
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday came out in support of the Centre’s move to abrogate special status granted to the Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 and clarified that the Congress party was never against its scrapping. Singh said that the party only wished that any decision involving the people of Jammu and Kashmir be taken with their goodwill.
Responding to a question on the Congress party’s stand on the abrogation of Article 370 at a press conference in Mumbai, Singh said, “Congress party voted in favor of bill to abrogate Article 370, not against it. We believe Article 370 is a temporary measure but if a change has to be brought, it should be with goodwill of people of J&K.”
Singh, however, said that the the party has been critical of the way in which it was implemented. “Manner in which it was implemented is what we opposed.”
Singh’s comments come at a time when the BJP has targetted the Congress party over its stand on Article 370. In a stinging attack at the Opposition during a rally in Parli of Beed district in Maharasthra, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that history will have a mention of those who mocked the abrogation of Article 370.
“Whenever Article 370 will be discussed in history, the decision that was taken in the interest of the country, then the people who opposed and ridiculed it, their comments will be remembered,” said PM Modi.
The Prime Minister further added that few Congress leaders had claimed that BJP would never have taken this step if the region had a Hindu population. “A Congress leader had said that had there been Hindus in Kashmir, BJP government would have never taken this decision (abrogation of Article 370). Do you see ‘Hindu-Muslim’ in the unity and integrity of the country?” PM Modi said.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has also accused the Congress of internationalising the Kashmir issue. The grand old party had opposed the bill in the Upper House of the parliament and its members created an uproar at the time of its introduction.