National Security Advisor Ajit Doval has landed in controversy with his remark that Jammu and Kashmir’s separate constitution is an “aberration” as sovereignty “cannot be a diluted and ill-defined”. In the backdrop of the challenge to the Article 370 — which grants special rights and privileges to the state — in Supreme Court, livid lawmakers from the state questioned if his comments have the backing of the Centre.
Speaking at the launch of a book on Vallabhbhai Patel yesterday, Mr Doval had said his contribution was not about the merger of the states, “it is only a means to an end”.
“The thing was that, to make a sovereign state in which there was the sovereignty of the people, was established in the Constitution, which is applicable to the whole of it. Probably with Jammu and Kashmir, where the Constitution was… in a truncated form… another constitution of J&K continued to exist, which is an aberration,” news agency Press Trust of India quoted Mr Doval as saying.
In Srinagar, National Conference leader Mustafa Kamal demanded that the government take note of Mr Doval’s comments. “If the government does not take notice, it will be proved that Doval is speaking this on the behest of the government,” he said, adding, “Delhi has divided India”.
Rafi Ahmad Mir, the leader of People’s Democratic Party, which till recently, was a BJP ally, said, “I think for a person in such a responsible position, Ajit Doval’s statement is irresponsible… Statements like this are altering the mindsets of the general public about Kashmir.”