Ganderbal: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Saturday said that former finance minister P. Chidambaram had always supported him on the issue of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).
"I can't say if Congress supported me on this, but Mr. Chidambaram has certainly helped me a lot. If there were other leaders like Mr. Chidambaram in the Cabinet Committee on Security at that time, we would have been able to take the issue of repealing AFSPA much ahead," Abdullah told reporters here.
Minister for State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju and BJP leader Subramanian Swamy had earlier today criticized Chidambaram for making such comments when polls are round the corner.
Swamy had called Chidambaram's statement 'idiotic', and assured that AFSPA would not be diluted under any circumstances.
Rijiju had termed Chidambaram's statement 'opportunistic and unfortunate' and stated that while the latter was the Home Minister of India, he knew what was the situation and under what condition this law had been implemented.
Chidambaram had yesterday welcomed the army's decision to grant life sentences to five personnel in Machil fake encounter case in Jammu and Kashmir, and termed AFSPA an "obnoxious law" which had no place in a modern and civilised country.
He had also asked the BJP government to introduce a bill to amend AFSPA during the Winter Session of Parliament.