Will Special Status of NE States Also Be Removed?: Ambedkar

Nagpur: Hitting out at the Modi government for “hurriedly” scrapping Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, Dalit leader Prakash Ambedkar on Friday asked whether the special status of the North East states will also be removed.

He said despite the special status, several North East states were facing insurgency.

“The decision to scrap Article 370 was taken hurriedly. Before deciding on the move, the people of Kashmir were not taken into confidence,” Ambedkar said while addressing a press conference here.

“The fundamental rights of the people are the same as per Article 14 of the Constitution. Hence, will the rule implemented in Kashmir be applicable to the states that have special status?” asked the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) leader.

“Will the special status of states like Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Assam and Mizoram stay intact after the Centre’s move of scrapping Article 370 in Jammu & Kashmir?” he asked.

“Home Minister Amit Shah made a statement that Aksai Chin is part of India. I see danger in the statement as till now various insurgent groups in the North East were fighting individually, but now we have given China an issue to bring them together,” said Ambedkar.

He said reservation provided to backward classes is also a kind of special status.

“The reserved category also has a special status, but the government is trying to remove that status,” he said.

The former MP appealed to the government to provide details about the dams being built by China on the Brahmaputra in Tibet.

“The Brahmaputra river originates in Tibet and comes to India. I appeal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah to tell the nation about how many dams China is constructing on the Tibet side,” he said.

“If that water is blocked, then the Brahmaputra water, which is perennial now will it remain perennial? Will the seven siters of North East remain with India if that water does not remain perennial? As per our information, those dams are nearing completion in next 3 to 4 years,” he said.

Replying to a query, he said, “Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar was not in favour of Article 370 when the Constitution was made in 1950. I feel he was right at that time because the people of Kashmir were attached to India through their heart and mind then.”

“But today’s situation is different as the people of Kashmir moved away from us psychologically. Babasaheb wanted to implement the Constitution in Kashmir and the people of Kashmir were also ready accept it. But, now it is not appropriate as the people of Kashmir are no more attached to us through their mind and heart,” Ambedkar said.