Jalandhar: Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal left a meeting with a farmers’ delegation in Punjab after being questioned on why he was in favour of the abrogation of Article 370.
Article 370 of the Indian constitution granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir and was revoked by the Union government in 2019 at a time when the state’s legislature was not functioning. Respected jurists, including noted legal expert AG Noorani, have called the move unconstitutional and deceitful.
Kejriwal was touring Punjab during which he visited Mansa and Bathinda districts as part of the upcoming assembly elections in the state. The farmers’ delegation met the Delhi chief minister at Khaila Malikpur village of Mansa district, where he was accompanied by AAP Punjab president Bhagwant Mann and others.
The AAP unit and Kejriwal had decided to engage with farmers but each time questions cropped up on why the Delhi CM supported the scrapping of 370, Kejriwal rubbished them as “political questions.” Eventually, the chief minister of Delhi left in a huff and as reported by The Wire, he was heard saying, “If you have any questions regarding farmers, you can ask me.”
A video of the same meeting has gone viral on social media wherein the district vice president of Punjab Kisan Union, Gurjant Singh Mansa is seen asking Kejriwal about Article 370.
In the video, Gurjant Singh Mansa, the district vice-president of the Punjab Kisan Union, is seen asking Kejriwal whether he thinks that the reading down of Article 370 is right or wrong. Hearing this question, Kejriwal asks, “How come this is a farmer’s issue?”
Gurjant then says, “It is an issue of the rights of farmers and the state. Those who make such rules for us are the same people who made these three farm laws.”
Kejriwal responded, “Why will I be complicit in snatching the powers of other states considering the Center has taken Delhi’s powers away?”
This stance of Kejriwal comes across as contradictory considering he sided with the Central government’s stance of scrapping Jammu and Kashmir’s ‘special status’ in August, 2019.