Amit Shah takes swipe at Congress’ ‘Italian culture’ over Kharge’s Article 370 remarks; party reacts

In the video, the Congress chief mistakenly refers to Article 371, while talking about the abrogation of Article 370.

BySouth First Desk

Published Apr 07, 2024 | 11:47 AMUpdatedApr 07, 2024 | 11:47 AM

File photo of Mallikarjun Kharge

The BJP hit out at Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on Saturday, 6 April, over his swipe at the ruling party for raising the issue of removal of Article 370 of the Constitution in Rajasthan, with Home Minister Amit Shah saying the Opposition party’s “Italian culture” is to be blamed for it not understanding the very idea of India.

Shah and other BJP leaders, including its president JP Nadda, shared a short clip of Kharge’s speech on X, in which he is heard targeting the ruling party for talking about the removal of Article 370 in Rajasthan.

“Are bhai, yahan ke logon se kya wasta hai (what has it got to do with the people here)?” Kharge is heard asking in the clip. The Congress chief also incorrectly referred to Article 371 instead of Article 370, which had granted special rights to Jammu and Kashmir and was annulled by the BJP-led Union government in August 2019.

Shah said on X that it was “shameful” to hear what Kharge said. He reminded the Congress that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and that every state and citizen has a right over it just as the people of Jammu and Kashmir have a right over the rest of the country.

Taking a swipe at the Congress, Shah said the party does not know that many brave sons of Rajasthan have sacrificed their lives for peace and security in Kashmir. “But it is not merely the fault of the Congress leaders. It is mostly the Italian culture of the Congress party that is to blame for not understanding the very idea of India. Such statements hurt every patriotic citizen who cares for the unity and integrity of the nation. People will certainly answer Congress,” he wrote.

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Mocking Kharge’s gaffe

“And for the kind information of the Congress, it was not Article 371, but Article 370, that was abrogated by the Modi government,” he said in a post.

However, it is only expected of the Congress that it would make such horrendous mistakes, the Home Minister added. “Such blunders made by it have haunted our nation for decades now,” he said.

Nadda also seized the opportunity to slam the Congress. In a post on X, he said, “Another day, another gem from Congress! Kharge Ji displays the typical Congress mindset which wanted Jammu and Kashmir to remain disconnected from the rest of India. He doesn’t even know that the Article in question is Article 370 and not 371.”

Jammu and Kashmir will remain an integral part of India, the BJP chief said, adding that the removal of Article 370 is very much linked to national pride and the unity as well as integrity of India.

The Congress will never understand such emotions, he said.

Also Read: Congress manifesto ‘bundle of lies’, prepared to create confusion, mislead voters: BJP

Congress reacts

The Congress hit back at the BJP for its criticism over Kharge “mistakenly” referring to Article 371 while talking about the abrogation of Article 370, claiming the AICC chief had “inadvertently” exposed the “Modi-Shah” game plan of wanting to make changes in Article 371.

Responding to the BJP’s criticism, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said, “Today, by a slip of the tongue in his speech in Jaipur, @INCIndia President Mallikarjun Kharge ji mistakenly said that Modi claims credit for abolishing Article 371. Kharge ji clearly meant Article 370.”

“Amit Shah immediately pounced on the Congress President. But the truth is that Modi does indeed want to change Article 371-A relating to Nagaland, Article 371-B relating to Assam, Article 371-C relating to Manipur, Article 371-F relating to Sikkim, Article 371-G relating to Mizoram, and Article 371-H relating to Arunachal Pradesh,” he claimed.

“Incidentally, Kharge ji was the man singularly responsible for Article 371-J relating to the erstwhile Hyderabad-Karnataka region, which he got accomplished only after Dr. Manmohan Singh became PM,” Ramesh said.

Amit Shah got all excited and agitated because Congress president Kharge “inadvertently” exposed the Modi-Shah gameplan on Article 371; now that they have gotten Article 370 out of the way, the Congress general secretary said.

(With PTI inputs)