Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday launched a scathing attack on Congress leader P Chidambaram over his advocacy for greater autonomy for Indian-held Kashmir, accusing the opposition party of “shamelessly, lending their voice for Kashmir’s azadi… using language… used by the separatists in Kashmir (and)… spoken by Pakistan.”
According to Hindustan Times, Modi’s comments came during an address to workers of his party, Bharatiya Janata Party, in Bengaluru.
Modi said his government would not compromise on India’s unity and integrity, a day after former Union home minister P Chidambaram pitched for “greater autonomy” for the restive state.
“All of a sudden, those who were in power till yesterday have taken a U-turn. Shamelessly, they are… lending their voice for Kashmir’s azadi… using language… used by the separatists in Kashmir (and)… spoken by Pakistan,” Modi said without naming anyone.
“This is an insult to our soldiers,” he said, adding that thousands of jawans have sacrificed their lives for Kashmir. “This is land of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and we will not allow any compromise with the unity and integrity of the country.”
Chidambaram had on Saturday raked up the issue of autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir — provided under Article 370 of the Constitution — that has been under attack from BJP amidst opposition from state parties and Congress.
Police and the Indian army routinely complain that civilians assist militants during clashes with armed forces, a frequent occurrence in the divided and volatile state.
The restive Himalayan region suffered a rise in violence last year after the killing in July of a popular young rebel leader in a gun battle with soldiers.