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Panelists say the common man’s confidence in the Valley should be won over

Article 370 that grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir has been removed, and this has led to a hot debate among political parties of what is going to be its fallout. Congress leader P Chidambaram has stated that the “BJP would not have touched Art 370 if Kashmir was Hindu-dominated.” APN’s popular debate Mudda discussed the latest developments. Anchorperson Akshay posed the questions to panelists including the BJP’s Kunal Kohli, social worker Sunita Paul, political affairs expert Fazli Ahmed, defence expert Col (retd) Gurbaksh Singh Cheema, and APN consultant Govind Pant Raju.

Ahmed said: “The PM has promised that this move is going to be for the good of the country. I am hopeful. We need to look at it from a single nation perspective. However, the move itself will not affect the common man. Congress too has used divisive politics. On this mudda, how is the common man affected?”

Raju said:”Chidambaram is a tall leader of the nation, his recent remarks are controversial. It seems that the Congress is losing ground, and is getting desperate.”

Paul said: “This is an internal matter of the government. But there should have been a debate on this. That’s why the Congress leaders have a right to question the move.” When told that the Congress leaders don’t consider it an “internal matter”, Paul said, “Congress leaders, Rahul Gandhi and others, have the right to question. If you keep politics out, look at what the nation wants? Why should one be a silent spectator to everything?”

Akshay pointed out that people should stop playing the victim card.

Kohli said: “Kashmir is an internal mudda. If you look at the history, Art 370 was brought due to reasons of religion. In Srinagar, look at what happened to Kashmiri Pandits? Ione should not get biased “

Cheema said: “Pakistan is getting desperate, like a fish out of water. Pakistan has no claim over Kashmir. Hyderabad and Kerala also have a majority of Muslims. This drama is being staged by Pakistan. In 1947-‘48, we had reached till Muzaffarabad, in ‘65 again the army was halted. Do we fight a war only to kill soldiers? I am called ‘Bangladesh war hero’. Therefore, the army’s morale is down. A majority of the people are happy with the move. What’s done is easy, now post-370 fallout should be handled well, we need to win over the confidence of the people.”

Raju said: “Congress should try to understand the ground reality and the people, but they are making the wrong kind of statements, that’s shameful. Congress has no one to take a knowledgeable line.”

Paul said: “This is an internal matter. Kashmiris are Indians first. Look at the BJP leaders, they are talking lightly that they can buy plot in the Valley now. We should move ahead with balance and not go to any extremes. I am not a spokesperson for the Congress, I am talking for the nation.”

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