Carrying forward Congress’s line of supporting the Centre’s decision to read down Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir while opposing the manner in which it was brought about, former prime minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday sought to remind the media that the party had voted in favour of the scrapping of J&K’s special status, reported The Wire.
Singh, however, highlighted the particularly “high-handed” manner in which the BJP government went about its decision and said the Congress did not need a certificate of patriotism from anyone.
Singh’s comments, at a press conference in Mumbai on Thursday, come against the backdrop of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP harnessing Congress’s alleged opposition to the Article 370 decision in their election campaign in Maharashtra and Haryana.
Earning the goodwill of the people of Jammu and Kashmir was necessary before such a move, the former prime minister said.
“Congress voted in favour of the move in parliament, not against it. Congress feels that Article 370 is a temporary measure, but if a change is to be brought, it has to be with the goodwill of the people of J&K,” he said.
The economist-turned-politician also said that agencies such as the Enforcement Directorate (ED) should not be used to settle “political scores”.
The ED, under the NDA regime, has got more powers than ever, and should not be used for political vendetta against leaders of “different hues”, The Wire quoted Singh as having said.