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On Tuesday, the SC announced that it would start hearing petitions on August 2 which questioned the constitutionality of changes made to Article 370 and the division of the former state of Jammu & Kashmir into two Union Territories.
The Centre claimed in its affidavit to the Supreme Court on Monday that its actions in 2019 had brought the region unprecedented growth, advancement, and peace—things that were frequently missing under the previous Article 370 regime—and that this was proof that Parliamentary wisdom was wisely used.
Mehbooba Mufti on pleas to be heard by SC:
Mehbooba Mufti, the leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), expressed her concern about the Supreme Court’s choice to consider the petitions after “remaining silent for four years” on Tuesday.
In a tweet, she stated that there were valid questions regarding why the Supreme Court had acted so quickly to consider Article 370 following their visit to Kashmir. The choice to hear the matter every day after sitting silently for four years does raise concerns.
The Centre’s intention to repeal Article 370 has been met with mixed reactions from the opposition parties. Although Congress originally opposed the action, it later took a more circumspect stance. The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) both supported the BJP-led administration.
The Telangana Rashtra Samithi, currently known as the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS), the Biju Janata Dal (BJD), Jagan Mohan Reddy’s YSR Congress Party (YSRCP), and the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) all supported the repeal of Article 370.
The CPI(M) is arguably the only national party to have criticised the move over the years, even though Kashmir-based parties like the National Conference, the PDP, and the People’s Conference consistently denounced the action.
Indian National Congress (INC):
On this issue, the Congress has expressed mixed feelings. The party first opposed the Centre’s proposal in Parliament, but then softened its stance, probably after gauging popular opinion and taking into account the opinions of various leaders.
The Congress Working Committee (CWC) criticised the government during a meeting on August 6, 2019, for how the abrogation was handled. The Congress was a signatory to the joint declaration released in August 2020 that stated the parties will work towards the reinstatement of Articles 370 and 35A.
The Congress momentarily joined the Gupkar Alliance alongside the NC, the PDP, and the People’s Conference. The Gupkar Declaration of August 5, 2019, included it as well. But the great old party proclaimed in November 2020 that it was not a part of the Gupkar Alliance.
On January 29, after raising the tricolour in Srinagar and concluding his cross-country Bharat Jodo Yatra, Rahul gave a vague response regarding the reinstatement of Article 370. Article 370 was not mentioned in the political resolution that the Congress leaders addressed at the All India Congress Committee (AICC) plenary meeting in Raipur the month after. According to the proposed resolution, Congress would work to give Jammu and Kashmir full statehood again and add Ladakh to the Constitution’s Sixth Schedule of Protected Areas. But Article 370 was not mentioned.
Janta Dal (United):
The BJP’s former ally Janata Dal (United) staged a walkout on August 5, 2019, as Union Home Minister Amit Shah tabled a resolution on Article 370 and the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill 2019.
At the time, prominent JD(U) leader KC Tyagi remarked that our leader Nitish Kumar is continuing the work of George Fernandes, Ram Manohar Lohia, and JP Narayan. Their party thus opposed the Bill that was introduced in the Rajya Sabha. The perspective of JD(U) is different. They preferred Article 370 to remain in place.
After objecting to the decision, JD(U) later made amends by stating that everyone should follow the law that had been put into effect. Ram Chandra Prasad Singh, national general secretary of the JD(U), stated that the party does not intend to continue engaging in ideological combat.
Aam Aadmi Party:
Arvind Kejriwal, the chief minister of Delhi, backed the administration. Kejriwal stated in a tweet following the ruling that they supported the government in its decisions on J & K. They anticipated that this would lead to peace and progress in the state. It has maintained the same position over time.
West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC leader Mamata Banerjee voiced concern over the safety of political figures in Kashmir after Article 370 was repealed and criticised the BJP government’s approach to revoking the special status granted to Jammu & Kashmir.