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How the DMK MP’s “self-determination” comment caught Congress off guard in Parliament

DMK MP MM Mohamed Abdullah’s allusion to words by social reformer Periyar during the Rajya Sabha’s discussion of two important bills pertaining to Jammu and Kashmir on Monday caused a stir in the legislature. Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar responded sharply to the comment, which was eventually removed from the recordings, stressing the responsibility that comes with free speech in Parliament.

During the debate of two bills, the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill 2023 and the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill 2023, DMK MP Abdullah spoke to the legislature. On December 7, the Lok Sabha had earlier passed this legislation.

All of the member’s statements are unacceptable. Anyone who respects the law and our Constitution cannot support it. I’m deleting those sections. stated Dhankhar.

“This place allows for speech freedom. That liberty entails a huge deal of responsibility. The world is meant to hear that message, he continued.

“How could this House be hearing this?” Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman interjected, urging Congress to make clear their position on Abdulla’s statements. Congress needs to declare as it stands.

Mallikarjun Kharge, the Leader of the resistance, indicated resistance to unilateral actions based on the Treasury Bench’s claims, but he also stated that the Chairman might remove comments that were not compliant with the law and business regulations.

Former Finance Minister and Congress leader P Chidambaram said that the party “respectfully disagrees” with the Supreme Court’s ruling on the repeal of Article 370 at a news conference on Monday. We express our disappointment that the Supreme Court did not reach a decision on the issue of splitting the state into two Union Territories. Congress has insisted on full statehood being restored at all times. In this context, we applaud the SC ruling. We think there’s no need to wait till September 30, 2024, for the election to take place, Chidambaram said.

Amit Shah, the home minister, questioned if Congress agreed with Abdulla’s claim, while Kharge spoke out for the freedom of speech and called it “undemocratic to silence members.” Jairam Ramesh, a congressman, stated that Abdulla’s assertion was not endorsed by his party.

Leader of the DMK Tiruchi Siva said that the governing party was inflating the issue and that the DMK has always defended India’s sovereignty.

In addition, Abdullah said that he disagreed with the J&K proposals, arguing that the repeal of Article 370 is an assault on federalism. Additionally, he said that the 2019 Act (Amendments) violates the Constitution.

Members who voiced their opinions on the bills included Vivek Tankha (Congress), V Vijaysai Reddy (YSRCP), Syed Naseer Hussain (Congress), Sasmit Patra (BJD), K R Suresh Reddy (BRS), and Manoj Jha (RJD). Independent member Kartikeya Sharma supported the bills, while Manoj Jha (RJD) opposed them.

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