Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: Joining the chorus against Narendra Modi`s recent call to have a debate on Article 370, Janata Dal (United) president Sharad Yadav on Tuesday said the issue can never be solved.
BJP`s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi`s remarks on Article 370 have drawn attacks from the Congress and the PDP while the BJP asserted that they did not signal softening of its stance on the constitutional provision giving special status to the state.
Commenting on Modi`s call, Yadav said the Gujarat Chief Minister`s demand is irrational. The issue can never be solved.
Meanwhile, firebrand BJP leader Uma Bharti defended and backed Modi`s demand for a debate on Article 370. BJP vice president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi argued: "Is Article 370 a holy book that it can`t be debated on?". It is being misused by champions of secularism, added Naqvi. Another BJP leader Subramanian Swamy discarded Opposition`s criticisms and said for repealing Article 370, one does not even need a parliamentary vote. It is a very easy process, added Swamy.
However, the Opposition continued to hit at Modi for making such a demand.
Union Minister for Water Resources Harish Rawat called Modi`s call a gimmick. The BJP lacks issues, so the party is raking up old agenda, Rawat said.
Communist Party of India (CPI) leader D Raja asked why is the BJP raising Article 370 issue when polls are approaching? Another CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta said Jammu and Kashmir`s special status, which is provided by Article 370 of the Constitution, is not a debatable issue but settled for all times to come. If there is a debate over it, it is being done to cause communal tension, the veteran communist leader said.
On Monday, Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari had taken a dig at BJP over Modi`s suggestion for debate on the provision, saying the party was making an about turn and terming their stand "double speak".
"Is the turnaround on 370 final nail in the legacy of Vajpayee ji & Advani ji ? Venkaih (Naidu) ji signed the vis(i)on document should explain u turn!" he tweeted.
In Jammu, state Congress chief Saifuddin Soz challenged Modi to a debate on Article 370, alleging Modi has no knowledge of either the constitution or the history of the country.
People`s Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti maintained that Article 370 of the Constitution cannot be abrogated "without the Jammu and Kashmir Constituent Assembly`s consent", and it was "no Babri Masjid to be demolished by communal forces".
Modi on Monday had expressed happiness over the debate generated by his remarks.
"Glad that after my call for a debate on Article 370, it is being widely debated among people & across TV, social media... However, we need rational & focused debate not only on 370 but other issues relating to J&K, including suffering of sections of J&K society," he tweeted.
Supporting Modi, BJP leader Arun Jaitley said in a post on Facebook that it would be incorrect for anyone to interpret the party`s challenge for a debate as a softening of stand on Article 370, which it wants abrogated.
He said the state`s integration with India was an essential part of BJP`s ideology.
(With IANS inputs)