New Delhi: Retorting to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s criticism of his remarks on Jammu and Kashmir’s autonomy, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram said on Sunday that he was “imagining a ghost and attacking it” and maintained that those criticising him should first read his comments.
Chidambaram said it was obvious that Modi had not read the whole answer to the question put to him on Jammu and Kashmir at an event in Rajkot yesterday.
“Those who criticise must read the whole answer and tell me which word in the answer was wrong. The PM is imagining a ghost and attacking it,” he told PTI here.
Asked during an interaction in Rajkot whether he still felt that Jammu and Kashmir should be accorded greater autonomy to defuse the unrest in the valley, he said. “Yes…
The demand in Kashmir Valley is to respect in letter and spirit Article 370. And that means that they want greater autonomy. My interactions in Jammu and Kashmir led me to the conclusion that when they ask for ‘azadi’, most people – I am not saying all – (an) overwhelming majority want autonomy.”
“Therefore, I think we should seriously examine that question and consider on what areas we can give autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.
Observing that granting such autonomy will be “perfectly within the Constitution of India”, Chidambaram said, “Jammu and Kashmir will remain an integral part of India but it will have larger powers as promised under Article 370 (of the Constitution).”