What was the need to strip Kashmir of statehood? Mamata questions Modi govt
Kolkata/IBNS: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday questioned the Centre's action to strip Jammu and Kashmir of its statehood, on a day Prime Minister Narendra Modi is chairing a crucial meeting with the leaders from the valley.
Reacting to Modi's meeting, Banerjee said, "What was the need to strip Jammu and Kashmir of statehood? People need freedom. If freedom is taken away, then everything is lost. It is not beneficial for the country.
"Instead, no tourist was able to visit Kashmir for the last two years. Just like the vaccine crisis, this autocracy has also defamed the country."
However, the Chief Minister, an arch political rival of Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), made no reference to the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A which were used to grant special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
Two years after withdrawing special status from the erstwhile state, the Prime Minister along with Union Home Minister Amit Shah are meeting all Kashmiri leaders in the national capital.
The meeting is crucial as the Centre is mulling over holding elections to the new union territory though the Kashmiri leaders are still adamant over their demand of restoration of Article 370.