Jaitley accuses Congress of encouraging separatism in J&K

P Chidambaram Jammu and Kashmir kashmir Jammu and Kashmir unrest kashmir unrest azadi autonomy J&K J&K autonomy J&K azadi india news indian express news

The Congress said that the opinion of an individual is not necessarily the opinion of the party. Chidambaram said that when the Kashmiri people ask for "Azadi", a lot of them want autonomy and thus the government should examine the question.

Hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed Indian soldiers' contributions to world peace in his monthly Mann Ki Baat address, he said senior Congress leader P Chidambaram's remarks on autonomy in Kashmir were an insult to soldiers. "Those who criticise must read the whole answer and tell me which word in the answer was wrong".

"The position that the Congress has taken with regard to azadi or autonomy for Jammu and Kashmir goes directly contrary to India's national interest".

"Yes, I do", Chidambaram said when he was asked if he still thinks that Jammu and Kashmir should be given greater autonomy. "This is an insult to our fearless soldiers", Modi said.

Criticising Chidambaram's stance on Kashmir, the Prime Minister said such statements undermine the armed forces achievements like carrying out surgical strikes.




PM Modi also targeted the Congress over alleged lies made by the party members on the standoff between India and China in Doklam.

PM Modi said after the many electoral defeats, he thought Congress leaders would help bring the party back on track.

Congress's chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and will always remain so unquestionably. But he didn't spell out the party's stand, saying a panel led by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that was looking into all issues in context of Kashmir.

The opposition National Conference, however, has supported the demand for "restoration of autonomy" and asked the government to end what it called its "muscular policy".

"Yesterday's statement of a Congress leader on Kashmir clearly shows how the party feels on surgical strikes and bravery of our Army", Modi said, while describing Chidambaram's statement as "unacceptable".

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