Congress veteran P Chidambaram on Monday sparked controversy after he claimed that BJP-led Centre abrogated Article 370 because Jammu and Kashmir was a Muslim state. Speaking at a rally in Chennai, he said the Centre would not have scrapped state’s special status if it was a Hindu state and accused the government of turning the state into a municipality.

The senior Congress leader also underlined special provision under Article 371 given to other states and asked why only Jammu and Kashmir was targetted. He cited BJP’s religious preferences for scrapping Article 370.

Chidambaram categorically said that BJP would not have abrogated Article 370 had Jammu and Kashmir been a Hindu-dominated state. He said the move was made because the state has a Muslim majority. He attacked BJP for muzzling Jammu and Kashmir’s special status with its muscle power and reiterated that there was unrest in the state. Quoting international media reports on the atrocities meted out to people, he slammed the Indian media for selective coverage.

The former Finance Minister also claimed that police resorted to pellets and tear gas to restrain the demonstrators in Srinagar’s Soura district. He also accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of discussing only those laws that matched well with BJP’s ideology and said there were 90 other laws that his party overlooked when it talked about the irrelevance of Article 370.

He also targetted regional parties such as the National Conference and People Democratic Party (PDP) for playing the victim card and not protesting enough against the Centre in Rajya Sabha.

Earlier Congress leader Digvijay Singh had also slammed the Centre for not handling Jammu and Kashmir thoughtfully. He quoted international media reports on violence in the valley and appealed to the government to handle the issue carefully or else, let it slip out of India’s hands.

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