Article 370: Speaker says let Chief Minister clarify

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Srinagar, Parliamentary Affairs Minister and senior PDP leader Abdul Rehman Veeri said the tensions over the Article 370 are almost over.

“The Speaker said he has not expunged anything and will go through the records,” Veeri told KNS. “To me it is over.”

Speaker Kavinder Gupta also said that he has not yet seen the records.

“The issue was taken up after the members saw the press coverage (of Chief Minister’s speech) and I understand that every newspaper has its own policy,” Gupta told KNS  after the assembly was adjourned for the day. “Chief Minister can clarify things herself.”

“I have not expunged anything,” the Speaker said. “I will go through the records and see and Chief Minister can explain it.”

Asked that if there was any precedence of the Speaker expunging the words of the leader of the House, the Speaker said: “I do not know”.

The Speaker said that there a thought process that Article 370 should not be there. “In fact when the Prime Minister Narindra Modi Ji was campaigning in J&K, he said it clearly many times,” the Speaker said. “There are people who believe that Jawahar Lal Nehru has done a mistake.” The Speaker said all these things indicate that it can be discussed within the representatives of the people.

Abdul Rehman Veeri

Asked if it was anti-national when the lawmakers can criticize part of the constitution that they swear by – as Chief Minister had said, the Speaker said it is not anti-national and should not be suggested so.

When asked, if after going through records he finds the word “anti-national” with reference to the Article 370, the Speaker avoided a direct response. “Let the Chief Minister clarify,” he insisted.

The “crisis” erupted soon after the question hour started when a BJP member Rajiv Jasrotia suggested that word anti-national in Chief Minister’s speech should be expunged. The Speaker obliged him that triggered pandemonium. After the house resumed, the Speaker said he will go through the records. It was again a pandemonium. Then finally when the house resumed, he said that he has not expunged anything and Chief Minister will clarify. Though it did not satisfy the opposition, the treasury benches pushed the passage of the finance bill amid the din. Then the house was adjourned for the day. The issue will is expected to be consume most of the time on Wednesday as well.

Opposition insists that since a new precedence was created, it needs calarification. They say the differences on the critical issue of Article 370 between the two allies speak volumes about the in-cohesiveness between the two. This, they said, means Speaker lacks confidence on the leader of the house and vice versa.

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