Former Madhya Pradesh chief minister and senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Shivraj Singh Chouhan has triggered a row with his comment on country’s first Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. Speaking to news agency ANI, Chouhan referred to Nehru as a “criminal”.
According to the former Madhya Pradesh chief minister, Nehru committed the “crimes” of declaring ceasefire with Pakistan and imposing Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir.
“Jawaharlal Nehru is a criminal. When Indian forces were chasing out Pakistan infiltrators from Kashmir, he declared a ceasefire. One-third of Kashmir was occupied by Pakistan. If there wasn't ceasefire for a few more days, the whole of Kashmir would have been ours.”
“His (Jawaharlal Nehru) second crime was Article 370. 'Ek desh mein do nishan, do vidhan, do pradhan' – it was not an injustice to the country but a crime against it,” the BJP leader further said.
The remark by Chouhan comes days after the central government abrogated Article 370 and bifurcated the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir with Assembly and Ladakh without Assembly.
Several opposition parties, including the Congress, have opposed the government’s decision. The Congress has questioned the government’s move like increasing security in the Valley and detention of political leaders in the region.
The government has, however, maintained that abrogation of Article 370 will lead to integration of Jammu and Kashmir with India in real sense. Addressing Parliament over the issue, Home Minister Amit Shah had said that Article 370 was a mistake that has been fixed by the Modi government.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also addressed the nation over the issue. He said that abrogation of Article 370 would result in a new era of development for Jammu and Kashmir. The Prime Minister said that with this development, the region would be able to avail the benefits and rights that are being availed by other citizens of the country.