Chidambaram calls for devolution of asymmetric powers in Sri Lanka

chidambaram_2g_cbiFormer Indian Union home minister P Chidambaram called on the Indian Government to practice what it had preached to Sri Lanka for Tamil areas and urged the devolution of asymmetric powers.

The senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP expressd this view in an interview to India Today.

When Chidambaram was a Minister the then Indian Government pushed for devolution of powers in Sri Lanka under the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.

During the interview, Chidambaram, referring to the act that gives the Indian army special powers of detention, said: “I must confess that we were not willing to overrule the defence establishment. Opinion within the government was sharply divided. There was hardly any support to repeal or amend AFSPA.”

He, however, said the ruling BJP-PDP combine in J&K and the Centre were worsening the situation in the Valley. “Now governments both in Delhi and Srinagar are mishandling it very, very badly. Kashmir is not about the land… we are completely misunderstanding them .”

Taking on the BJP, he said: “If there is anything that the Kashmir people loathe, it is the BJP’s ascendency. The legitimacy of the government does not take away from the fact that it sends a threat among the people,” he said.

Asked whether his suggestions would receive a favourable reply from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said: “I don’t know what his fundamentals beliefs are. If his fundamental belief is that India must be a majoritarian state, whatever I said will be a complete waste on him.” (Colombo Gazette)